Remarks by Albert Francis Park, ADB Chief Economist and Director General, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, at the ADB-KOSTAT MoU Signing Ceremony, 12 December 2022

Good morning and again, a warm welcome to all. I am pleased to join the ceremony for the signing of the Asian Development Bank’s memorandum of understanding with the Statistics Korea (KOSTAT). This MoU commits us to collaborate in three key areas:

First, building an integrated data system that links data collection, management, and analysis. This is one of the strengths of Statistics Korea (KOSTAT), and we are grateful that they are bringing their expertise in this area to our collaboration;

Second area of collaboration is improving the quality of data for improved policymaking. This is one of the strengths of ADB statisticians. And as MDG Woo Chong has explained, ADB statisticians have been working on developing statistical indicators and data tools in our region for decades.

More recently, we have been expanding into nontraditional Big Data sources such as satellite imagery, telcommunications data and working to access private sector data;

The third key area of the ADB-KOSTAT collaboration is capacity building within national statistical systems. Public servants need good capabilities in data skills as these play a significant role in the quality of a country’s governance. When statisticians are trained to generate good quality data, the data conserves as inputs to policy decisions.

Capacity building in our different areas of strengths is the mandate of both ADB and KOSTAT. In this regard, we are share the same common mission,  to produce quality official statistics, and statistical development.

This MOU commits us to work together in a wide range of activities, including:

  • improving the statistical use of government administrative records;
  • supporting the integration of censuses and household survey data with information from administrative records;
  • endorsing the adoption of international standards and best practices; and
  • And finally, enhancing data dissemination strategies and data visualization techniques.

We anticipate that, once the data system has been established, we will be able to create statistical indicators in economics and climate change. Oftentimes, the lack of climate-change relevant data can hamper strategic investment and climate change policies of our DMCs.

ADB as a climate bank aspires to address this need through the development of climate-change related indicators. This initiative is in line with ADB’s Strategy 2030 and Operational Priority 3: Tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability.

At this moment of celebration, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone whose enthusiasm and efforts have aided the completion of this MOU. I want to highly commend KOSTAT colleagues for their vision to share knowledge and technology with other countries in our region.

I would also like to express my gratitude to colleagues across ADB, including colleagues from the e-Asia Korea Partnership Fund, our legal department and Strategy, Policy, and Partnerships Department , for making this MOU a reality.

Thank you very much.