Korean Expatriates Call For Improved Expat Policies

The 11th annual meeting of the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Global Centre provided Korean expatriates with an opportunity to raise their opinions with Seoul’s senior government officials.

The two-hour meeting, which was attended by 156 expats from 40 different countries, brought together expats and government representatives and offered people living in South Korea with an opportunity to provide their feedback on two different topics: “Multiculturalism and its Implementation in Seoul” and “Seoul’s Air Quality”.

During the meeting the expatriates were told that the government considers everyone living in Korea as equals and sought the expat’s opinions on how Seoul could become a true global city.

The annual meeting offers expats an opportunity to discuss the living condition in Seoul and make suggestions for improvements. Alan Timblick, head of the Seoul Global Center, commented on the progress of suggestions that had been made by expatriates during the previous year’s meeting and described their implementation: “One particular example was booking online,” he said. “Cinema tickets and places to go to were difficult because the alien registration number was not compatible with the citizen identification number. We’ve now arranged a reservation system for foreigners to book tickets if you sign up with itourSeoul.”

The session on “Seoul’s Air Quality” sparked fierce debate on the issue of the public smoking ban, which many expatriates claimed were not being implemented to great success. One expatriate asked: “I would like to challenge anyone here if we have ever seen any police men stopping anyone smoking in public places?”

Expatriate’s feedback from the event was positive and it is hoped that their recommendations and suggestions will be implemented over the course of the forthcoming year.