01-22-2009 19:35
Presidential Council on Nation Branding Opens

Euh Yoon-dae, center, the inaugural chairman of the Presidential Council on Nation Branding, applauds during a ceremony to launch the agency in central Seoul, Thursday. From left are council member Kim Sang-hyup; Yu In-chon, minister of culture, sports and tourism; Euh; Park Hyung-joon, senior presidential secretary of public relations and planning; and council member Park Jae-ok. / Yonhap

By Na Jeong-ju
Staff Reporter

The Lee Myung-bak administration launched a presidential council Thursday to upgrade Korea's international status and improve its image overseas.

Former Korea University President Euh Yoon-dae became the first chairman of the Presidential Council on Nation Branding, which includes eight ministers and several PR experts from the country's leading enterprises.

``We will start various projects to promote Korea's global image and make it a more respected country,'' Euh said in a speech to mark the opening of the council's office in Seoul. ``The council will strengthen cooperation with the private sector and municipal governments to help Korean firms and nationals get better treatment overseas.''

In an interview with The Korea Times, Tuesday, Euh, 63, said the council will consider forming a 100-billion-won ($74 million) fund to start branding campaigns at home and abroad. The 47-member council will play a central role in reorganizing Korea's branding activities and creating positive images abroad for the world's 13th largest economy.

Euh stressed the need for Korea to expand economic aid to the underdeveloped countries and increase opportunities for Koreans to learn globally accepted norms and etiquette and have an international mindset.

Among the council's inaugural members are are Oh Nam-soo, president of the strategic management division at Kumho Asiana Group; Korean Air President Lee Jong-hee; musician Namgung Yeon; and Cha Yoon-ho, the first Korean to pass the bar exam in Russia.