▲ Members of Jeju's 2nd Foreign Advisory Committee meet for the first time at Jeju provincial office. Photo by Darren Southcott
The second session of Jeju’s The Foreign Advisory Committee (FAC) was inaugurated on Friday, March 27, at Jeju provincial office. Governor Won Hee-ryong addressed a select group of foreigners living on Jeju who will hope to influence policy direction relating to Jeju’s international community.
Won praised the 1st FAC (2012-2014) for its work in providing a communication channel between the foreign community and the local government as well as aiding in the production of guidebooks for everyday living and increasing foreign language information on public transport.
The second session will run until 2017 and the governor said internationalization for the island “is not an option, it is essential.” He said the FAC had grown in importance since its first sitting in 2012, pointing to the fact that 1.6 million international tourists had become 3.3 million, and foreigners had now invested 9.3 trillion won in 21 businesses.
“We expect sage advice for successful international exchange and cooperation... I promise to do my best to listen to your opinions and take action based on the advice received through this committee,” said Won.
▲ Governor Won Hee-ryong addresses the 2nd Foreign Advisory Committee for Jeju Island. Photo by Darren Southcott
The first act of the FAC was to select the chair to direct the committee in the months ahead. NLCS Jeju principal Paul Friend suggested former vice-chair Kanoelani, representative of the International Training Centre, take on the role due to her linguistic and leadership skills. She had some conditions before she considered the proposal.
“I have conditions. I need a guarantee of cooperation from the provincial government. I don’t want to suffer the same as Ambassador Chung Dal-ho [the chair of the 1st FAC]. We need increased cooperation. If you can give me that guarantee,” she said to a provincial representative, “I will accept the position.”
Although the guarantee was not completely forthcoming, Kanoelani was backed by FAC members and accordingly became chair. She then set about assigning roles for vice-chair and sub-committee chairs, conceding that commitments “might intrude on your daily chores ... but it is our duty to sacrifice our time.”
The 1st FAC was divided it into three sub-committees: tourism (tourist services and tourist information); residence and infrastructure (residential, transportation, medical services, and education); and adaptation to Jeju life (support for multicultural families).
▲ Kanoelani, representative of the International Training Centre, assumed the role of chair for the 2nd Foreign Advisory Committee for Jeju Island. Photo by Darren Southcott
Accordingly the position of vice-chair was taken by Elizabeth Church, a Sin Jeju Elementary School teacher; head of the tourism sub-committee is Uehiro Sano, manager of Oh Clinic; head of the adaptation to Jeju life sub-committee is Dur-wi Yang, vice-chair of the International Overseas Chinese Association Jeju; and head of the residence and infrastructure sub-committee is Paul Friend, NLCS Jeju principal.
The 2nd FAC, including both returnees and newcomers, agreed to revisit the remit of the sub-committees before further discussing roles and responsibilities.
The FAC has previously visited Seoul Global Center and Yeonnam Global Village Center to learn from best practice in providing services for migrants and international families. It also holds special workshops and a session at the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity to increase communication between Jeju officials and the growing international community.
The committee will meet quarterly with more frequent sub-committee meetings to ensure the improvement of immigration, transportation, tourism and other issues facing non-Korean residents.
To contact FAC chair Kanoelani email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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