June 17, 2014
Greater Asunción, Paraguay
Theme: “Towards an Alliance Between Paraguay and South Korea”
Hak-Lae Son, The Former President of Korea Expressway Corporation and the Korea Rail Network Authority.
Hello everyone. I am Hak Lae, Son, the former president of Korea Expressway Corporation and the Korea Rail Network Authority. It is a great honor to be invited to the first Global Symposium of Korea and Paraguay. Also, I want to thank Horacio Cartes, the President of Paraguay, Hyun Jin Moon, the president of GPFF, Gustav Leite, the Minister of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Carlos Gustav Fernandes, the Governor of Valdovinos Central Bank, Myung Jae Han, the Paraguay Ambassador to Korea, and our honored guests present in this room.
The Korea Expressway Corporation and the Korea Rail Network Authority are not only constructing roads and railroads in Korea but also advancing to countries worldwide based on our technology. Especially, with the collaboration with KOICA, we are concentrating our attention and efforts into S.O.C construction in developing countries such as Asia, Africa, and South America. Recently, we are participating in the project of constructing national expressway number 2 and 7.
Korea has grown to an outstanding economic giant in a short period of time. I believe the growth is due to paying attentions to S.O.C investment relatively faster than other countries. In 1968, Korea started constructing highways of 428km connecting Seoul, the capital of Korea, and Busan, the second city of our country. It was a historical project that cost one fourth of the budget of Korean government at that time and it has been a foundation to Korea’s economic development. In those days, per capita income was $142 and the size of export and import was $1.9billion, only 0.2% portion of $1 trillion U$ of trade nowadays. The project took 2 years and 5 months, involved 9million men a year, arranged 1.6million construction equipment, and put military troops to shorten the construction period.
Comparing the standard of economy and technology between Paraguay and Korea, highway construction project at that time of Korea was much inferior to Paraguay in nowadays. However, it was successfully constructed with the dedication of national attention and care.
All over the world, we see the necessity of S.O.C construction project especially in the developing countries. To improve national competitiveness, expansion of infrastructure such as road, port and railroad is essential. However, there is a rare chance of funding huge amount of capital for the investment. Therefore, there have been an increasing number of cases that developing countries with low credit level attract private capital by PF from huge IB banks worldwide. National infrastructure projects in need of huge capital must secure cooperation with developed countries and the World Bank. Furthermore, it must seek to cooperate with allied nations to find solutions.
Dear our honored guests,
With the Global Symposium of Korea and Paraguay as a stepping stone, I believe we have made the foundation to solve these problems and learn the technologies and experiences of developed countries. Moreover, it will be a great honor if our technologies and experiences could be of help to infrastructure construction of Paraguay. Lastly, I wish for peace in all our honored guests. I appreciate the dedications and hard work of the related parties. Thank you.