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South Korea provides Botswana with model for success

16 May 2023

South Korea’s achievement of remarkable economic success with meagre natural resources provides a model for Botswana to follow.

This was said by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi in Gaborone Monday when hosting South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s special envoy Dr Park Heon-joon.

“South Korea has enjoyed a meteoric rise on the basis of very little natural resources apart from human capital, and that is something we could learn from,” Dr Masisi said.

He said the two states already had much in common which could act as a basic building block for strengthened relations.

Botswana and South Korea shared a robust democratic tradition, commitment to human rights and pursuing a people-centred developmental state model which should make for stronger mutually beneficial ties between the two states, he said.

Dr Masisi welcomed the current Korean administration’s intention to strengthen relations with Africa.

“At the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, I met another special envoy from your leader and we had occasion to speak about how your vision for development and enormous success over time has been an inspiration.

We were told of the intention of having a South Korea-Africa summit and we look forward to stronger relations,” the President said.

Dr Park had delivered a letter from his head of state and the invitation to the Korea-Africa summit.The South Korean academic and politician as well as Busan Municipality mayor said he had extensively studied the developmental state model, characterised by state-led macroeconomic planning, state intervention, regulation and planning where the private sector flourished.

It is a model that South Korea and other East Asian Tiger economies have been known for, he said.

“The South Korean experience can offer other countries lessons, we were once one of the poorest countries in the world in the 1960s, but dynamics changed, from being an aid recipient to being a donor funding state.

 It is now time to pay back to the international community, to help others with the economic development process,” Dr Park said.He said his president had announced a New Africa Policy which would lead to South Korea developing stronger ties with  the continent.

Dr Park and his delegation also visited the University of Botswana and partook in a Korea-Botswana business meeting. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Pako Lebanna

Location : GABORONE

Event : special envoy

Date : 16 May 2023