June 10, 2021
SEOUL – Today, WeGO held its first webinar focused on China-Korea smart city collaboration, in parallel to its existing initiatives in the Northeast Asia region. Representatives from key Chinese and Korean cities and institutions discussed the needs and capacities required to successfully push digitalization forward in both countries.
With both China and Korea aiming to achieve their initial digital transformation goals through overarching initiatives such as the “Digital New Deal” and “Internet Plus”, WeGO anticipated the increase in exchange for knowledge-sharing and capacity-building between the two countries and decided to bring relevant stakeholders to further generate synergies in this particular area.
To open the webinar, WeGO’s Secretary General Kyong-yul Lee and Korea China Association (KCA)’s President Sung woo Lee gave their welcoming remarks. KCA President Lee expressed his agreement with WeGO’s mission and vision, and declared KCA’s support of WeGO’s initiative for China and Korea.
In the first session, representatives from the National Information Society Agency (NIA) and the China Centre for Urban Development (CCUD)–key national institutions for digitalization–introduced Korea and China’s plans and achievements respectively. The Executive Director of NIA shared Korea’s Digital New Deal’s main focus areas including the establishment of a Data, Network and AI (DNA) ecosystem. On the other hand, CCUD’s Deputy Director explained that China’s perspective on digitization involves digital economy, digital government, digital infrastructure, and digital life.
High-level city officials from Ningbo, Shanghai and Zhengzhou in China, and Busan, Seongnam and Seoul in Korea were invited to introduce their primary smart city initiatives, and suggest areas of mutual cooperation between both countries. On top of the importance of advanced digital technologies, all city representatives emphasized the importance of citizen-centric smart city and policy development.
To identify the next steps for cooperation, speakers were invited to express their expectations and make suggestions for tangible joint programs in a panel discussion. While all discussants acknowledged the importance of capacity-building to deepen knowledge and skills in the application of emerging technology, it was underlined that cities need to first develop smart city standardization, and build consensus on smart city concepts.
Based on the feedback and suggestions collected from participants, WeGO will continue discussions with all stakeholders from both sides to develop concrete programs for deepened cooperation, starting with study visits.
Stakeholders interested in contributing to this initiative are welcome to express their interest at the bottom of the official webinar page here. The webinar recording and presentation slides can also be viewed again on the same page here.