By Park Hye Ri
The government will expand the scale of loans from its Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) to KRW 11.7 trillion by 2025.
In the 144th meeting of the EDCF management committee on Jan. 26 chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy Choo Kyung-ho, the Ministry of Economy and Finance announced the higher figure as part of its mid-term management plan for 2023-25.
Launched in 1987, the EDCF is a loan assistance fund for supporting economic development in developing economies and promoting economic cooperation.
To provide the world’s 10th-largest amount in official development assistance, Korea will gradually raise the value of its EDCF loans from KRW 3.8 trillion this year to KRW 3.9 trillion next year and KRW 4 trillion in 2025. It will disburse KRW 1.5 trillion in such loans this year, KRW 1.7 trillion next year and KRW 1.8 trillion in 2025.
Minister Choo said, “Considering high demand from developing countries, we will focus on EDCF financial resources in the green and digital sectors to boost development efficiency. By region, we will focus on Asia, which has a big need for economic cooperation, and expand investment in Africa and Central and South America, which have great growth potential. We will also expand opportunities for Korean corporate advances through the EDCF.”
“We will strengthen a recipient country’s crisis management by monitoring its economic crisis. If an emergency occurs there such as flood or drought, we will provide immediate support through emergency loans.”
The minister also mentioned a plan for support methods linked to the EDCF for Korean business expansion abroad.
“We will enhance the effectiveness of EDCF support through connections with relevant organizations focused on health and medical infrastructure projects,” he said. “Over the mid-term and through cooperation with relevant ministries, we will promote the spread of this model to ensure effective implementation of EDCF support in other fields like transportation and information and communications technology.”