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subject Minister Bahk's speech at the 3rd Korea-India Finance Ministers' Meeting
DATE 2012-11-02 TEL
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3rd Korea-India Finance Ministers' Meeting


Minister of Strategy and Finance

Bahk, Jaewan

Dinner Speech: Bollywood Meets K-Pop


1. Greetings


Your Excellency, Minister Chidambaram, Delegates from India and Korea, Distinguished guests,


It was my great pleasure and honor to be here and take part in the Third Korea-India Finance Ministers' Meeting with you today. And I extend my heartfelt gratitude to every one of you who did not spare effort to arrange and prepare for today's meeting.


2. Similarities between Koreans and Indians


India and Korea are very different, from history to language to culture, and are also geographically far from each other. But at the same time, we have many things in common. Throughout the long history of 5,000 years, India and Korea are the countries that respect peace and have never invaded others. India is also home for religions that value non-violence such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. Korea is one country where Buddhism has been thriving the most. The people of our two nations cherish family, serve their parents devotedly and respect the elderly. Extraordinarily strong educational zeal of Indian and Korean parents, which is already well-known across the world, actually comes from such tradition of caring for family.


What is the most impressive among common aspects of the two nations is their passion for dance and song.  Dances and songs of India are well known for their uniqueness and beauty. They are always seen in Bollywood movies and that is why Bollywood movies are beloved around the world. Movies like ‘Three Idiots’ and ‘My name is Khan’ are some of those screened in Korea and have gained a lot of popularity among Korean audiences. Given this, it is no surprise that many Hollywood stars want to participate in Bollywood movies and Hollywood producers are competing to make investments in them.


Korean’s passion for dance and song has also been no less than that of India. Recently, singer Psy’s ’Gangnam style,’ famous for his horse-riding dance, is becoming a signature item of Korea, overcoming language and cultural barriers. A western TV program even said that the brand representing Korea is now shifting from existing huge conglomerates such as Samsung and Hyundai to K-POP.


3. Lessons from Bollywood and K-POP


Then, what does the success story of Bollywood and K-POP mean to emerging countries struggling through the global crisis? I think there are some lessons to learn for emerging nations and I want to talk about them in three C-words.


First is the importance of Competition. In India, more than 1,000 movies are produced each year, and I heard that nearly 70% of people coming to Mumbai dream of becoming an actor or actress. That competition is very fierce. Becoming a K-POP singer is also really a cutthroat competition. After selected by entertainment companies, they practice more than ten hours every day for 6 to 7 years with no vacation until they make their stage debut. In the end, fierce competition and strong effort are the source of the global competitiveness of Bollywood and K-POP. With such competition and endeavor, success stories can be built in any areas. Emerging economies pressed down by the global crisis will be able to restore lost jobs and economic growth when they take steps further towards the world with confidence, openness and competition, rather than shrinking from the world.


The second lesson we can learn is Cooperation. Many Bollywood movies and K-POP songs feature a group dance. Members of a large or a small group work together to make slight, prompt and precise movements in synchrony to create the beauty of dancing. If only a little bit of such cooperation is lost in the dance, they are no longer Bollywood movies or K-POP songs. If such cooperation had been strengthened among countries in the process of overcoming the global crisis, the crisis would have disappeared already.


Last but not least is Creativity. Bollywood shows us the creativity of combining song and dance with traditional movies. Where did such creativity come from? Songs and dances, fused with stories, are the integral part of Bollywood movies that make audiences even more excited and touched. K-POP’s uniqueness is also surprising. It has caught the eyes of Hollywood fans through You-Tube and flash mobs. I think K-POP’s success was largely attributable to not only song and dance but new technologies like You-Tube or flash mobs. The capability of converging industries that are based on creativity will be key to securing future competitiveness for emerging nations. In this respect, I believe both India and Korea, with our advanced IT industry, can pioneer this era of convergence.


4. Conclusion


The current world that is missing leadership after the global crisis is often called the ‘G-zero era.’ In such times, the role of key emerging nations is all the more important. I hope the value of C-words, Competition, Cooperation and Creativity that we learned from Bollywood and K-POP will be widely spread in key emerging countries that these nations, including India and Korea, will again take the lead in the global economic recovery. India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru(자와할랄 네루) said he would build India into a superpower with dynamism and diversity. I believe the Indian Prime Minister Singh, President Mukherjee and Your Excellency Minister Chidambaram dream will also be like that of Prime Minister Nehru. I sincerely hope that our two nations will walk hand in hand on a path towards the future India that fellow Indians dream of.


I’d like to propose a toast to the ever-lasting friendship of India and Korea!  Cheers!


Please refer to the attached PDF file