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Seoul Exports e-Government Know-How to Uzbekistan

Tuesday 26 May 2015, by Catherine BISSON-SERIAN

SEOUL (Korea Times) – The Park administration is sharing expertise in how to establish online government to Uzbekistan officials as part of a six-month education program in Seoul. Thirteen Uzbek officials are taking part in the 2015 Global Leadership Enhancement Program, to learn about Seoul’s advanced information and communications technology (ICT) and to adopt ICT as part of its administrative system.

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Chong Jong-sub, left, minister of government administration and home affairs, greets Uzbek civil servants at the ministry building in Seoul on May 8. Thirteen Uzbek officials are participating in the “2015 Global Leadership Program” and studying Korea’s e-government system.
(Photo: Courtesy of the National Information Society Agency)

The Uzbek government established a new ICT ministry in February and has been promoting plans to reform the overall administrative system by adopting ICT skills.

The Uzbek official expressed high hopes to learn practical know-how from the long-term program, citing Korea’s competitiveness in the ICT field. Seoul has ranked first in the United Nations’ e-government assessment for three consecutive years. “Korea has a competitive edge in e-government services, and its strength has been acknowledged by the international community”, said Djalalov Muzaffar Mukhitdinovich, head of Uzbekistan’s ICT development strategy planning and IT convergence department. “Uzbekistan should learn from Korea’s experience; it is critical for our country.” “We know things are hard to change within a short period of time. But our preparation is under way," said Bobomuradov Khurshid Makhmudovich, Uzbekistan’s first vice-rector. The official said the Uzbek government is seeking to establish online infrastructure for better administration.

The program kicked off in April as part of the two nations’ government-level cooperation in the ICT area. Involved are the Ministry of Government Administration Home Affairs, National Information Society Agency and Central Officials Training Institute. Until October, the program will provide diverse lectures on ICT-based administrative procedures and onsite training at local IT companies, public institutions and universities. Trainees are scheduled to visit the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, and companies like Samsung SDS, LG Display Factory.

Seoul and Tashkent have recently increased technology exchanges. The Ministry of Government Administration Home Affairs signed a memorandum of understanding with Uzbekistan on e-government cooperation in 2014. In February, 2013, Seoul established an e-government cooperation centre in order to promote joint business with Uzbekistan.

The government has been strengthening its ties with Uzbekistan under President Park Geun-hye’s “Eurasia initiative”. The initiative, proposed in October 2013, is a vision the president formulated for regional and economic cooperation between Europe and Asia.

On a visit to Uzbekistan in 2014, Park and her counterpart Islam Karimov agreed to strengthen practical cooperation in areas including trade and investment, the energy sector, science, and ICT. Uzbek President Karimov is scheduled to visit Korea on May 28. He chose Korea as the first nation to visit after his re-election.

Uzbekistan is South Korea’s biggest trading partner in Central Asia. Trade between the two stood at $1.9 bln last year.

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