Daejeon: Tightening Friendship through Newly Open Support Centre for Foreign Residents

AIMING to tighten international friendship, Daejeon will open “Daejeon Support Centre for Foreign Residents” in February 2021 in Jeong-dong, Dong-gu. As of November 2019, the number of foreign population in Daejeon was recorded at 34,000 with the percentage of international students is higher than that of other cities, and most of them were from Asian countries. The Centre will help the foreign residents in the city (international students, multicultural families, and immigrant workers) in their early settlements and stable living through comprehensive services. This initiative is supported by KEB Hana Bank that allows its building used for free.

The Centre will become a one-stop service platform and provide various community facilities, such as education, counseling, free medical services, and legal advice as well as civil services, and in particular, cooperative projects with sister and friendship cities. The Centre will play role as an intermediary between Daejeon and its sister and friendship cities so that they can have vigorous exchanges. These will allow Daejeon to create an environment for multicultural community within the city.

Daejeon is maintaining networks among sister and friendship cities by promoting international exchanges. Currently, Daejeon has 34 cities in 23 countries as sister and friendship cities. In particular, Daejeon and sister and friendship cities from China showed cooperative relations in early 2020: Daejeon provided facial masks to Wuhan, Nanjing, and Shenyang in January 2020; while in March 2020, when COVID-19 cases surged in Korea, Nanjing, Shenyang, Wuhan, Jinan, and Xian provided supplies for quarantine. The Centre seeks to carry out such activities to strengthen international exchanges in the future.

Daejeon has been playing its role as an international city, strengthening support for foreign residents and expanding the scope of the support. Daejeon, the host city of UCLG World Congress in 2022, will strengthen international relations, not only with sister and friendship cities, but also many other cities around the world.