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South Korea's hosting of the United Nations climate fund's secretariat will
likely boost the domestic service sector, as it will create demand from its
staff and family members traveling to the main office, the finance minister said
On Saturday, the board members of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) decided to place its secretariat in Songdo, west of Seoul, in a long-running competition with other five countries including Germany, Switzerland and Mexico. Its final approval will be made later this year in Qatar.
The GCF is a U.N. fund whose main purpose is to channel money from industrialized nations to developing countries, helping them tackle global warming and other problems related to climate change.
"The hosting of the GCF is expected to contribute to the development of the service sector here," Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan told an international forum.
He cited more demand from staff members of the organization and their spouses and children for hospitals, schools and other necessary facilities for daily life and leisure activities. "All of them have to do with the service sector," Bahk said.
Experts say that the GCF office will help bring in a huge amount of economic benefits to Korea by housing hundreds of U.N. workers and holding about 120 international meetings every year.
According to a report by the Korea Development Institute, a state-run think tank, the hosting of the GCF office will bring about 380 billion won (US$343.9 million) worth of economic effects every year.
The hosting of the office will also require more workers armed with financial expertise to manage such a huge fund that the GCF is going to raise, Bahk said, underlining the need to nurture more people specializing in the field.
The GCF seeks to raise $100 billion every year until 2020 to be spent on efforts aimed at slowing down or reversing climate change. The fund is frequently regarded as the "World Bank" of the green growth and climate change fronts.