The Central Officials Training Institute will start a two-week program on international negotiation Monday.
Twenty four public servants from 19 government agencies will participate in the English-only course, titled “the Multinational English Immersion Program.”
This year, eight foreign participants have been invited to the program, which has involved only Korean civil servants since 2008.
The foreign officials come from Mongolia, Vietnam, China and Russia, and are currently students at KDI School of Public Policy and Management and Handong International Law School.
“As the participants come from different countries, they are expected to try harder to understand one another. In the longer term, it would be helpful for Korean officials to improve their communication skills which are useful when they attend such international negotiations as over free trade agreements,” said a COTI official.
“Foreign students also showed keen interest in the program when they were invited. Considering their enthusiasm in the program, we will seek ways to broaden foreign participation,” the official added.
The lectures consist of two parts. One is about the principles of negotiation including communication skills and ethics in international negotiation. The other concerns legal aspects of international agreements and contracts.
After learning practical skills and knowledge, they are scheduled to participate in individual and group negotiation sessions. At the end of the program, a negotiation competition will be held in a tournament format.
Most of the lecturers are law school professors or executives of consulting firms in and out of the country.
“Securing well-trained and professional negotiators is very critical for a country like Korea because most of our national economy is dependent on international trade,” said Yoon Eun-key, president of COTI.
“We hope that by admitting non-Korean participants, this program will be active and lively,” he said.
By Lee Ji-yoon (email@example.com