ACADEMIC PAPER SERIES
Banks Associaon and the Local Cooperaon Commiee. It has established strong partnerships with regional governments, internaonal organizaons, and the private sector to jointly iniate cooperave acvies. With both a skilled and low-cost labor pool, the Tumen River basin site is at the crossroads of vital trade, transport and energy routes. Rich in gas, oil and minerals, the region has easy access to auent markets and hundreds of millions of NEA consumers. Increased regional cooperaon is projected to not only lead to economic prosperity and sustainable development, but also to contribute signicantly to regional solidarity and stability.
For South Korea, the GTI represents an important opportunity to actualize the Eurasia Iniave announced by President Park Geun-hye in October 2013.
The Eurasian Iniave is a proposal to link rail and road networks, energy, and logiscs infrastructure from Korea’s Busan across the Eurasian connent to Europe in a modern “Silk Road Express.” One potenal energy mineral resource partner for the ROK could be Mongolia. Mongolia, for its part, is a rapidly developing resource economy rich in coal, natural gas, petroleum, copper, gold, and uranium, but overwhelmingly dependent on China as its customer because of poor northeast outbound transportaon routes. It is determined to nd new mineral customers in Northeast Asia to break the Chinese monopoly over its economy and diversify trade partners. The GTI transportaon grid design meshes completely with Mongolia’s intenon to re-orient its valuable mineral resource customers from China to consumers in Korea, Japan, and Europe. Acve ROK partnering iniaves for railway development with Mongolia and Russia to improve regional transport infrastructure and ease trans-border transportaon passages would have an immediate impact on the exisng Jilin, China internaonal cooperave demonstraon zone, which includes the parcipaon of 48 South Korean companies and 48 Chinese regional governmental agencies and businesses.
Furthermore, this new railway development project coupled with Chinese railway construcon traveling towards North Korea will connect the Tumen and Yalu Rivers as well as link North Korea’s major cies with China and other regional countries. These eorts, then, have the potenal to boost the construcon of NEA internaonal transit corridors and promote the cross-border economic and energy cooperaon sought in the Eurasia Iniave. Any new rail development undertaken by South Korean companies also holds specic benets for each of the GTI countries and should spur compeon over Mongolian and Siberia-Russian minerals. While these rich coal, copper, gold, petroleum, natural gas, rare earth, and uranium resources could be moved to willing Korean customers, it is just as probable that they will nd new economic partners in Asia and across the Pacic. Thus, GTI members are likely to overcome any present polical impasses to realize the goal of greater transportaon integraon.
Greater Tumen River Basin
GTI Ulaanbaatar meeting of October 30-November 2, 2013
The 14th meeng of the Consultave Commiee of the GTI and Northeast Asia Economic Cooperaon Forum was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia from October 30 to November 2, 2013. Vice Ministers of GTI member naons discussed regional cooperaon and development strategy in the NEA region, rearmed the signicance of GTI in building regional partnership for common prosperity, and reviewed transforming its strategic direcon into an independent organizaon by 2016.
The focus of the discussions evolved from GTI’s
Integrated Transport Infrastructure & Cross-border Facilitaon Study for the Trans-GTR Transport Corridors
released in February 2013.
As the NEA region has enormous potenal for development, especially in port arrangement and infrastructure construcon, one of the prime challenges discussed at this year’s Consultave Commiee session was how nancing instuons can meet demand from the private sector, and what kind of channels and mechanisms can be provided in bringing about regional economic prosperity? The Northeast Asia Economic Forum, which facilitates dialogue on NEA economic and development cooperaon, took place immediately following the Consultave Commission meeng.