• Korea-Sweden, Mutual Visits Lay Groundwork for Economic Cooperation
    2019-12-23 hit 1881

    Korea-Sweden, Mutual Visits Lay Groundwork for Economic Cooperation


    - Prime Minister Lofven and economic delegation had fruitful results from the visit to Korea worth looking forward to cooperation with large companies and startups -


    Upon the recent visit of the Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden to Korea, Korea and Sweden will promote a full-fledged economic cooperation.


    According to the Korea International Trade Association (Chairman: Kim Young-ju), this visit of Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven was special. Unlike conventional overseas tour that visit two to three countries at once, he visited only Korea for three days from 18th  to 20th with the largest-ever delegation. Some 100 individuals from sixty Swedish global companies, including Sweden's respected entrepreneur Chairman Marcus Wallenberg of SEB Group, and officers from Ericsson, Astrazeneca, SAAB, Scania, Spotify participated in this visit


    They met again in six months after the President Moon Jae-in and the economic delegation made the state visit to Sweden for the first time as Korean President, and had an economic cooperation event in Stockholm with 230 government officials and entrepreneurs, including King Carl XVI Gustaf and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven last June.


    Marcus Wallenberg, who visited Korea this time is the key figure in Wallenberg family, the largest corporate group of Sweden, came to Korea by the chartered plane and completed his individual schedules such as meeting with Chairman Lee Jae-yong of Samsung in addition to attending the official events, including, the Business Summit, the dinner banquet invited by five major business associations and the Blue House state banquet.


    Another major figure in this delegation was Chairman Leif Johansson of Astrazeneca. He announced the plan to invest 630 million dollars in Korea’s Bio and Pharmaceutical industries when President Moon Jae-in made a state visit to Sweden last June.  He participated in the delegation to Korea this time and signed Memorandums of Understanding with the Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization, KOTRA, and the Korea Health Industry Development Institute for implementation of the investment plan.    


    The ‘Korea-Sweden Business Summit’, the first official event of the Swedish Prime Minister’s visit to Korea, opened new chapter of bilateral economic cooperation as they signed five MoUs, including the agreement with Astrazeneca. In particular, SF Marina consortium, led by Sweden’s SF Marina, signed the memorandum of understanding for 5 billion-dollar investment in Golden Harbor Development Project (Incheon Port International Passenger Terminal Complex Support Site Development Project) with the Incheon Port Authority. 100-year-old SF Marina’s interest in Golden Harbor Development Project means that the site is highly attractive. Also, Incheon Port Authority anticipates that this MoU will be an important milestone to attract future investments for Golden Harbor Development.   


    Besides, the signing ceremonies for MoU between Hyundai Motor Company and Impact Coatings for hydrogen fuel cell development cooperation, MoU between Doosan Infracore and Scania for engine supply to respond to emission regulations, and MoU between Ansan City and SF Marina for investment in the creation of Floating Village were carried out.  


    Chairman Kim Young-ju of the Korea International Trade Association said, “The number of Korean companies that have expanded into Sweden is 110 and their sales are 7.8 billion dollars and the number of employees they have directly hired is 13,000.” He also forecast, “This visit of the Swedish Prime Minister and the delegation will boost the economic cooperation between the two countries.”     


    Roaring Attention to Korea’s Technologies and Companies

    During the visit to Korea, the Swedish delegation visited Korean unicorn companies as well as the leading companies in 5G mobile communications and Artificial Intelligence (AI) areas, such as Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor, and KT and sought cooperation measures. The Swedish companies visited Korea’s leading unicorn companies such as Woowa Brothers Corp., JYP Entertainment, PUBG, the developer of Battle Ground and large companies. The Minister Anna Hallberg of Foreign Trade also participated in the company tour and the strengths of Korean companies that are standing shoulder to shoulder with Swedish companies in innovative industries and technologies. She tested a self-driving car at Hyundai Namyang Research Institute.


    The delegates who visited the KT R&D Center listened to the explanation at the 5G Open Lab· Future On Exhibition Hall about Smart Factory that automatically detects defective products through machine vision and moves them to the conveyor belt by robots, GigaSound Doctor that predicts the parts that are abnormal inside the machine by just measuring sound in the factory, Unmanned Airship 5G Skyship, 5GHz network-based system dedicated to 28GHz companies,  AI solutions such as Giga Genie, AI Hotel Robot, and Hologram Giga Genie, Next-generation services such as Wireless Virtual Reality (VR), Sync View, and Time Slice, monitoring platform for power quality and equipment failure and energy efficiency, etc.


    When visited Woowa Brothers Corp., there was a presentation on the secrets to maintain the number one position in food delivery industry and the special organizational culture in which every individual works responsibly. Some delegates questioned about the background and future direction of the recent acquisition by the German DH.


    Cecilia Qvist, Global Head of Markets at Spotify, the Sweden’s leading unicorn and music streaming service company and Karin Lydahls, VP Global Expansion at Epidemic sound visited JYP Entertainment and discussed Korean music market and success secrets of K-Pop.


    Kim Chang-han, CEO of PUBG, delivered the presentation on the secrets of worldwide success of Battle Ground and its expansion into e-sports. There was a heated discussion with the delegates under the topic of innovation in the game industry.


    Expansion of Mutual Attention among Startups

    December 17th, a day before the Swedish Prime Minister arrived in Korea, the Korea International Trade Association had held Korea-Sweden Startup Innovation Night at COEX Startup Branch.


    The event was attended by Chairman Kim Young-ju of the Korea International Trade Association, Minister Park Young-sun of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, Deputy Minister Emil Hogberg of the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation and others. The participants shared Sweden’s innovation cases and success stories of open innovation of the two countries. There were consultations for venture investment and cooperation between the business people from the two countries. 


    Especially, at the Korea-Sweden Startup event, Korean startups such as Paintpam, Twinny, PNM tech, etc., Sweden’s large companies Tetra Pak and White Arkitekter AB, and Swedish venture capitals (VC) had in-depth discussion on purchasing products, testing technologies and attracting investment. 


    Znipe TV, the Swedish e-sports streaming startup, who visited Korea as a member of the delegation, plans to launch the service in 2020 by developing streaming service utilizing 5G network in cooperation with LG Uplus.


    The Swedish start up Exeger is a company that produces photovoltaic devices for small home appliances and is working on a project to develop and produce charging-free headsets in the form of crowdfunding with JBL (JBL, Samsung Electronics).


    Passionate Business People Networking  

    On the other hand, 200 business people from the two countries participated in the welcoming banquet for the Swedish Prime Minister hosted by the 5 major business associations, including the Korea International Trade Association on December 19th and networked. At the event, the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven compared the past sixty years of the bilateral ties with the 60th anniversary of one's birth in Korean culture by speaking figuratively cycle of 60 years is over and new cycle has begun and emphasized that this year is a meaningful for Korea and Sweden as they begin new relations. Moreover, he stressed efforts for communication between Korean companies and Swedish companies by making a toast in Korean Wihayeo (Cheers)


    Chairman Kim Young-ju of the Korea International Trade Association said, Many Swedish companies, including Ericsson, AstraZeneca, Ikea, Volvo and Scania, who attended the banquet, are deeply involved in Korean people’s lives as well as industries and stressed, We are looking forward to the future of an innovation ecosystem that will be created by Sweden, which pursues sustainable growth based on innovation, and Korea, which promotes inclusive growth through innovation.


    Chairman Ylva berg of Business Sweden said in her closing speech at the banquet, I am impressed by the enthusiasm and hospitality of Korean entrepreneurs and if both Sweden which focuses on sustainability cooperates with Korea with high technology, both countries will become role models for the circular economy.


    As a part of the banquet program, cultural performances were carried out. A Swedish group sang Arirang and Dasrum, Korea's fusion traditional music orchestra, performed Sweden’s popular group ABBA’s Dancing Queen and drew a great response.

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