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
▶ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
▶ 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
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).
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 “A 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
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.