You are here: HomeSouth Korea 2018 › Innovators

Development enters the next phase

Aug 25, 2018
Credit : GMI Post


With its transition from traditional to more advanced industries, South Korea wants to maintain its status as a leader in several industries - namely fintech, biotechnology and electronics. Industry associations, together with the government, are increasing support to SMEs in these sectors by providing them with assistance on research, funding and partnerships.

KOFIA Chairman Kwon Yong-won

With 65 years of experience, the Korea Financial Investment Association can attest to the growth of finance and increasing role of IT in the industry. KOFIA Chairman Kwon Yong-won is optimistic about the further integration of the two.

“The Korean financial investment industry is tech- friendly because of our strong IT infrastructure. The introduction of non-face-to-face identity verification, robo-advisor services and block chain-based authentication system (Chain ID) are major examples of advanced technologies that have allowed us to effectively respond to the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Kwon said.

Meanwhile, Korea BIO, which was launched in 2008 through the integration of the bio, venture capital, and genetic engineering associations, is helping in the development of 300 Korean bio companies. In particular, it is working with the Ministry of Industry to run a long-term program for the creation of bio-industry eco-systems. In 2016, together they raised a $34.1 million fund to support Korea’s initial bio-ventures. In addition, they regularly hold training and investment seminars for early venture companies.

The Korea Electronics Association is another organization at the forefront of innovation. KEA seeks investments for new technologies in electronics and works closely with universities to drive research in areas, such as AI and IOT.

“Conversations are getting important in terms of AI and IOT. With that, we are working closely with Korea’s top players, such as Samsung and LG, as well as with SMEs and even vehicle and telecommunication companies to develop technologies for our industry,” KEA Vice Chairman Nam In-seok says.

For its part, the Korea Display Industry Association is working with MOTIE on a large R&D project to develop the display industry’s future technology, particularly for the benefit of SMEs developing and testing needs. 

“Tech development and advancement is crucial for the economy’s survival and growth,” KDIA   Vice Chairman Seo Kwang-hyun stresses.

“While home-grown giants such as Samsung and LG will continue to lead the global industry, we are here to make sure that a thriving Korea includes its smaller players,” Seo adds.

Hanchang: early adapter, big winner

Aug 25, 2018
Credit : GMI Post


South Korea’s reputation as a leading global power has rested primarily on its chaebols, or large industrial conglomerates, and its high-tech giants. However, its SMEs are emerging from the shadows and contributing more to Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

Hanchang, based in Busan, has been able to adjust quickly to changes in the market, both at home and abroad. Today, the holding company is staking its future on finding new growth opportunities in the market.

Expanding beyond its original activity, Hanchang has ventured into three new businesses: property development, hotel management and aquatic products.

While growing on the back of its gaseous fire extinguisher system manufacturing, in the last three years Hanchang has restructured and created three new segments: construction in 2015, seafood in 2016, and just last year, entertainment. The move involves some risk but also promises huge returns.

“We import live seafood from our company in Vladivostok, Russia. In Korea, there is a frenzy over the entertainment business. These businesses are risky but have great potential. If we successfully carry out our investment plan, Hanchang will grow even faster,” said CEO Choi Seung-hwan.

Hanchang is now formulating a future business strategy for North Korea. Last August, it launched a cruise ferry line business with routes plying the East Sea, stopping at Russian and Japanese ports. The first such company with cruise level ships, Hanchang looks forward to dropping anchor at a North Korean port in the near future.

“The current positive atmosphere between North and South Korea is still building and economic relations are expected to be restored. If we could finally open a port in North Korea with our cruise ferry line, we won’t just send passengers but also drop cargo. We are opening a new chapter with economic cooperation between the two Koreas. It will also help North Korea return to the international trade market. We are highly anticipating taking a crucial role in the process,” he explained.

Amid Hanchang’s rapid expansion, Choi is also seeking partners: “Being listed on the Korea Stock Exchange for over 40 years, we are continually looking for investors. As sales grow fast, we need capital to finance our expansion.”

Through expanding its territory into new business fields, Hanchang has been doubling their revenue. It may not take that long before the company joins the billion-dollar club.

South Korea 2018 was prepared for and originally printed in Foreign Affairs magazine.

PDF of the printed report

Next :  

latest special Reports:

Upcoming Reports from

Uruguay 2019

See Preview »

GMIPOST is putting together a Special Report on Uruguay to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the...

Ecuador 2019

See Preview »

GMI Post is headed to Guayaquil and Quito to research and prepare a Special Business Report on Ecuador, to be published in the Japan Times in the 4...

Chile 2019

See Preview »

As host of this year's APEC 2019 in November and organizer of the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP25) in December, Chile will be on the global s...

Peru 2019

See Preview »

With its GDP growing an average of 4 percent a year, Peru economy has outperformed those of its neighbors Traditionally a mining country, the count...




  • Global Media is your partner in reaching a powerful international audience through high-level economic reporting.

    Our ambition is to highlight under-reported developments and opportunities around the world, and allow leaders in these regions and sectors to take their message to the highest global level. We partner with top media to communicate with the world’s most powerful audiences. We specialize in communication and branding initiatives that help our clients effectively get their messages to their existing and potential partners. We achieve results for our clients by introducing them and their initiatives to an audience of elite international business and government leaders.

    Global Media Inc. is an independent media agency with offices in Hong Kong and Canada. GMI has more than a decade of experience in the writing, researching, and production of promotional country reports, with media partners from East Asia to North America. We have teams worldwide that develop country and thematic reports on the latest economic trends and developments.

    We are a media partner of Foreign Affairs,the United States’ most influential publication, published by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.

    Nearly a century old, there isn’t a more influential or higher-reaching publication in the United States than Foreign Affairs. The journal is ranked #1 in influence by U.S. opinion leaders in a recent nationwide study conducted by Erdos and Morgan, the premier business-to-business research firm. Their findings place Foreign Affairs ahead of all media, both print and broadcast, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and The Washington Post.

    Testimonials:

    “We were extremely impressed with how efficient, well-coordinated, responsive and reliable the Global Media Inc. team was. We owe them a lot for their professionalism. We were very pleased with the outcome, and the article was very well-written. We hope to have an opportunity to work with Global Media Inc. again in the near future.� – Japan Airport Terminal Co. Ltd.
    “The Global Media team’s professionalism was excellent. Their team was great and always gave us the right suggestions and information. The product was excellent, and we were very happy to have such a great opportunity working with their excellent team.â€� – National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies (GRIPS)
    “We were honored to be chosen as one of the good universities in Japan. This article conveyed Seigakuin University’s educational ideals and the message from President Akudo. The advertisement was conspicuous and gave a good impression that Seigakuin nurtured students to contribute to world peace. We really appreciated what Global Media Inc. had did for us.â€� – Seigakuin University

    Whom we have featured:

    • Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard
    • Australian Foreign Affairs Minister (and former Prime Minister) Kevin Rudd
    • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
    • Qatari Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato’ Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed
    • Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Yoshiaki Takaki
    • Taiwanese Foreign Minister Yang Chin-Tien
    • Taiwanese Finance Minister Lee Sush-Der
    • Taiwanese Economic Affairs Minister Shih Yen-Shiang
    • Taiwanese National Science Council Minister Lee Lou-Chuang,
    • Taiwanese Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Yeh Kuang-Shih
    • Taiwanese Political Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Lin Tsong-Ming
    • Indonesian Ambassador to the United States Dr. Dino Patti Djalal
    • Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board Chairman Gita Wirjawan
    • Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III
    • Philippine Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

Join our newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.