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LEE Hee-sup

Secretary-General of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS)





I would like to suggest two buzzwords for this year’s conference: “polycrisis” and “solidarity”. These two words represent the situation we are in, and the path we must take forward.

The world we live in now is facing various challenges, such as trade protectionism, the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the restructuring of global supply chains due to technological security and geopolitical factors, climate change, and so forth.

In such multi-faceted ‘polycrisis’, the role of international solidarity and cooperation is imperative in finding solutions whilst minimizing the pressure and shock of global chaos. Particularly, the restoration of supply chains is urgently needed in East Asia, where common growth was made under the intertwined value chain of the free trade system.

This implies that the strong need for the spirit of solidarity and mutual cooperation have served as a strong force for overcoming our common challenges. With the rapid development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the rise of hyper-uncertainties and multiplexed crisis, East Asia must overcome the age of ‘polycrisis’ through the strong will of solidarity and cooperation, and become the driving force for the growth of Asia and beyond.


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