KOICA committed for S&T development in Pakistan: Sung
May 10th, 2015 | Technology Times | No Comments
Sung Choon-ki DG KOICA Pakistan was born in Republic of Korea. He holds political sciences degree from Seoul National University. He has rich experience of over 25 years in representing Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in East Asian countries. He had remained Resident Representative of KOICA in countries like Lao, Cambodia, and China. He joined KOICA Pakistan two years back. He shared his views in a recent interview with Technology Times
Brief us about your personal as well as professional background?
Sung Choon-ki: I was born in Korea. I studied Political sciences at Seoul National University. I joined KOICA when it was established in 1991. I had served as Resident Representative in East Asian countries such as Lao, Cambodia as well as China for last 25 years. I have joined KOICA Pakistan in January, 2013 as Resident Representative.
What are the KOICAs activities in Pakistan in recent and past?
KOICA has provided assistance to Pakistan in different sectors including Health, Education, ICT, Agriculture and Rural Development, Technical Textile and Disaster Risk reduction and Humanitarian Relief in KPK, Punjab and Sindh. We have established Garment Technology Institute Karachi (around 2 Million USD) where around 300 students at a time are getting quality education in textile. In June 2014, we have completed Safe Drinking Water Supplies schemes (4 Million USD) in 25 villages of Mandi Bahauddin. This rural water supplies scheme benefited around 80000 people. While after completion of Pak-Korea Center of Excellence for ICT at CTTI Islamabad and National Institute for Water Quality Management in PCRWR Islamabad and Pak-Korea Capacity Building Center for Agriculture and Livestock technology at Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, thousands of Pakistanis will be trained in these sectors yearly for local and overseas employment. Our technical cooperation program for building human resources has trained more than 1000 government officials and this year we have announced several trainings and 20 scholarship programs. Interested government officers can apply through EAD for these scholarship and training programs. All of our programs aims to reduce poverty and sustainable development of Pakistan.
What motivated KOICA to start projects in Pakistan and KOICAs future plan to assist in SandT to Pakistan?
Sung Choon-ki: Republic of Korea was one of the poorest and aid dependent country after war in 1950 and separation of two Korean peninsula. The GNI of Korea was just 50 USD equal to African country Ghana. But due to the visionary leadership of our late president Park Chung-hee, and support of our friendly countries like Pakistan (who supported in developing our five year plan by Dr. Mehbob ul Haque), Korea today is 10th biggest economy of the world and rapidly transformed from a aid recipient to donor country in 1990. This rapid development was not only due to the visionary and aspiring leadership, but also due to people motivation and commitment. Yu have attended our workshop on Saemaul Undong or New Village Movement which played a substantial role in transforming rural life and build a foundation for stronger economy. Also our export policy and utilizing remittance also assisted us to become world greatest economy and today we have Samsung, LG, Automotive industry and several other leading Multinational SandT companies.
In order to pay back, and progressive development of other developing countries, KOICA was established to eradicate global poverty, building human resources and improve quality of lives around the world. Since, the diplomatic relations between Korea and Pakistan were established in 1983 and due to highest potential of Pakistan natural and human resources, similar socio-political issues to become a developed nation and country as Korea, our friendly ties greatly motivated us to also help Pakistan. Therefore, KOICA office was established under Embassy of the Republic of Korea and we are hopeful that Pakistan will become a peaceful and developed country. KOICA Pakistan since its inception is working for promoting of skills and technologies in all required sectors and fields to advance the knowledge of Pakistani communities and provide strategic and policy assistance. Our technical programs in term of trainings in SandT, Management, Governance and Social mobilization helped thousands of Pakistani. Around 80% of our programs are technology based skills development for different ministries and government officials. Likewise, our project based training programs in Agriculture, ICT, Water and Sanitation, Textile and Rural innovation also aim to build the foundation of SandT in the country and linked SandT to industry and academia. Recently, our experts from Korea visited BOI and SMEDA for starting projects on promotion of and Development of SMEs and Entrepreneurial Culture in Pakistan. As there is a need of human resource development, technological development and good policy planning in the SME sector of Pakistan. We have also visited different SMEs related projects in Gujranwala, Sialkot and Lahore and Lahore University of management science (LUMS) incubation center for entrepreneurship. This project will build capacities of Youth and women to start entrepreneurs which led a path for socio-economic development as an example of Korean rapid advancement and development.
As I mentioned about our projects in ICT, Technical Textile (such as Medi Tech, Geo Tech, Sport Tec) and Agriculture, these projects will provide not only trainings in market orientated courses but we are planning to link Korean companies to hire these students for overseas employment. This innovation linkage would provide youth employment as well as alleviated poverty in Pakistan.
You played vital role in establishment of KAAP; what are its benefits for Pakistan?
KOICA Alumni Association of Pakistan (KAAP) was established with an aim to strengthen the relation between two countries and disseminate the knowledge and expertise to rest of the people by our alumni. So far, KOICA Alumni played a substantial role in the bringing the people closer and to foster the cooperation between both countries. We have Central level Alumni committee and Dr. Muhamad Akram Shaikh Director General PASTIC is the President of KAAP while there is Vice President Women Dr. Sameena Afghan Director Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences. In order to connect people across the country, we have launched KAAP Alumni Café on our website and several hundred alumni have joined this café. Last year, we also arranged competition for best alumni who have utilized and disseminate the knowledge to his/her community. The first prize winner Mr. Naveed Deputy Commission Inland Revenue in Lahore will go to Korea on a trip this year, while remaining people were given other gifts and. Through our alumni we have started a Education Support Fund to help the needy students. Initially the program funded only five students of middle schools while later we will expand our program in all provinces etc. The Alumni are ambassador for public diplomacy as well as they can play a significant role to bring people together by sharing the experiences of Korea, the cultural and social aspects. Therefore, it has many opportunities and benefits of KAAP.
How did you manage to popularize science in Korean Society?
Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. However, the rapid development was not only due to the visionary and aspiring leadership, but also led by people, their motivation and commitment. Yu had attended our workshop on Saemaul Undong or New Village Movement which played a substantial role in transforming rural life and build a foundation for stronger economy. Also our export policy and utilizing remittance also assisted us to become world greatest economy Todays Korean generation enjoys the luxuries and beauties of SandT which linked Academia, RandD and Industries to provide more benefits to the common people and society. Our SandT has been promoted to help every industry and today we have Samsung, LG, Automotive industry and several other leading Multinational SandT companies.
How we can create science for social development and its implementation in Pakistan society?
Pakistan has greatest potential for natural and human resources. Many Pakistani scientists are reckoned in the world even this country has one noble laureate Dr. Abdul Salam. There are many Pakistani young scientists working on several projects around the world. However, there is a dire need to share the benefits of Science and technology to the common people. The Academia and RandD should work together to aspire the industries and their inventions and research must aim to benefit society and then it can be possible to create a sustainable developed societies in Pakistan.
What is the relation between socio-economic development and international collaboration in SandT?
SandT can efficiently drive the socio-economic development. Take an example of Korea; we have worked hard to initiate and promote SandT that provided a push to bolster our economy and bring a societal transformation.
What are your comments for our initiative of Technology Times and Tech TV?
Sung Choon-ki: I became familiar with the Tech TV and Technology times when I joined KOICA office in 2013. I regularly receive the newsletter. This innovative initiative would play an incredible role in promoting science and technology and would provide a platform for the youth, academia, RandD and industries to work together for SandT and socio-economic development of Pakistan.
What is your message for our readers?
Youth is the most powerful medium which can be utilized for sustainable socio-economic development. Pakistani youth is playing their role in different sectors and I urge them to not wait for the opportunities rather they should take a step ahead and create opportunities. They must work hard to get rid of all these social evils and work with the hope to change their destiny and future of their nation.
Published in: Volume 06 Issue 15
Short Link: https://www.technologytimes.pk/?p=13237