Participants in a forum designed to propose a dedicated organization for Overseas Korans pose at the National Assembly on July 8. Photo courtesy of World-OKTA

World-OKTA joins hands with lawmakers

The World Federation of Overseas Korean Traders Association (World-OKTA) held a seminar on July 8 to propose a dedicated organization for overseas Koreans.

The event, which took place in the National Assembly, was co-hosted by a parliamentary forum designed to support expatriate nationals.

Headed by Rep. Lee Won-wook from the main opposition Democratic Party, the forum is composed of 45 lawmakers from ruling and opposition parties.

Scholars came up with their opinions on how to underpin the Korean diaspora across the world and the residents there.

One of their biggest proposals was to set up a dedicated government outfit, which takes charge of supporting overseas Koreans.

“The new entity is expected to carry out various measures in a systematic way and activate the global networks of Koreans,” World-OKTA Chairman Chang Young-sik said.

“As a result, World-OKTA members will be able to play a pivotal role in boosting our mother country.”

Rep. Lee concurred.

“Overseas Koreans amount to 7.5 million. To continue Korea’s growth despite the global economic downturn, we need to form the new organization to take care of them,” Lee said.

Founded in 1981, the World-OKTA is the largest organization of overseas Korean business leaders whose number has shot up over the past four decades.

The World-OKTA has organized various events for its members and the country.

Earlier in March, for example, it organized an exhibition to arrange meetings between a total of 63 exporters around Hawseong City and around 800 OKTA members.

Back then, they visited Korea to take part in the 23rd World-OKTA Leaders Convention and the Business Plaza in Hwaseong, about 40 kilometers south of Seoul.