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One more step towards internationalization: visit by the South Korean Embassy

DATE March 2, 2023

One more step towards internationalization: visit by the South Korean Embassy

On its path towards internationalization and as a European reference, the Spanish Network of Smart Cities (RECI) received the South Korean Embassy in the Madrid offices of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP). Representing the RECI, the general secretary, Francisco Javier Ridruejo and the technical secretary, Daniel Vega participated. Both share more details about the meeting with us. 

Q: What motivated the visit of the South Korean Delegation 

In January, the Economic Affairs diplomat of the South Korean Embassy, Mr. Yoon, contacted RECI directly because a government-level Delegation coordinated from the Embassy was going to be in Spain in February. It was a delegation from the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, all of them deputies, and they showed great interest in meeting with us to discuss the state of progress in Smart Cities in Spain and create synergies between both countries. Among them, we have the Hon. Mr. Hee HWANG, who is currently the president of the Smart Cities Forum of the National Assembly, among his current positions, Mr. HWANG has had great responsibilities in his country, highlighting his time as minister of culture, sports and tourism. 

In addition to having the honor of holding the meeting at the FEMP offices, the current location of the technical secretary of the Spanish Network of Smart Cities, the attendees later visited the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, and were received by the Secretary of State of Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence (SEDIA) to also discover how the ministry is addressing the digital and sustainable transformation of the country and learn about the alliance between SEDIA and RECI. 

A: Daniel Vega Díaz 

Q: Who participated? 

On behalf of the Delegation, coordinated directly by the Ambassador His Excellency. Mr. Sahnghoon Bahk and the diplomat Mr. Yoon., a group of deputies attended: the head of the Delegation was His Excellency. Mr. Hee HWANG, and the rest of the delegation was made up of deputies, Hon. Mr. Taeho JUNG, Hon. Mr. Heeyoung JUNG, H.E. Mr. Yeongdae SHIN, and the secretary of the delegation, His Excellency. D. Sungkyu SON 

From the RECI, Francisco Javier Ridruejo, general secretary of the RECI and general coordinator of the Logroño City Council, and myself, technical secretary of the RECI and responsible for Smart Cities at the FEMP, participated.  

A: Daniel Vega Díaz 

Q: What steps are being taken by the RECI in the internationalization of the network? 

Precisely in the 2023 work plan, a milestone has been established for the generation of a smart city model that contemplates all those characteristics that Smart Cities must have at a global level. 

On the other hand, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the RECI, a milestone reached in 2022, the brand identity and corporate website have been redesigned, in which we have included a space connected to the international Smart Cities platform, Bable. The objective is that the good practices of our cities and territories have international visibility and can interact with smart cities in the rest of the world.  

We will complete the RECI internationalization plan thanks to agreements, which we are closing, with important organizations that have a global presence and we will announce throughout this year 

A: Daniel Vega Díaz 

Another step we are taking to internationalize the network is the organization and attendance at international events and meetings. Until now, we have had the visit of the government of Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Korea. We have participated in training in Serbian cities about Smart cities, and in the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) where we have a RECI stand, and both the president and mayor of Logroño, Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza, and the vice president and mayor of Santander, Gema Igual participated in the mayors' debate table held at the SCEWC in 2022. We also had bilateral meetings with cities in Brazil, Korea, France and Argentina. 

On the other hand, we have strengthened the relationship with DG Connect of the European Commission, ITU and UN-Habitat, who participated in the second edition of the National Congress of Smart Cities that we held last October in Palma and with whom we collaborate in promoting the digital transformation of municipalities  

A: Fco. Javier Ridruejo 

Q: What is the next international event/function you will be attending?  

We will soon attend the new imminent edition of the Mobile Congress and the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) in November, with whom we have a relevant collaboration agreement for the sector. 

We have collaboration with other Spanish networks, such as the Smart Destinations Network, being part of the Entity that promotes the future Smart Destinations Platform. As a result, I will be personally next month in Colombia, Cartagena de Indias, together with the president of SEGITTUR and his equipment 

In October, on the 19th and 20th in Las Rozas de Madrid, our III (inter)national Congress of Smart Cities will take place, which we organize from the RECI and which each year acquires a more universal character and with a greater global impact. 

A: Fco. Javier Ridruejo 

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