LA LETTRE DE CORÉE Mai 2003 Centre Coréen du Commerce Extérieur et des Investissements
KOTRA PARIS - 36, avenue Hoche - 75008 Paris
Téléphone :  +33 (0) 142 25 28 44 - Télécopie : +33 (0) 142 25 09 50 - email :  
M. Seong-Kuk Hong - Directeur Adjoint 
M. Frédéric Claveau -  Responsable Investissements





- Management

- Nanotechnologies

- Biotechnologie

- Transport : automobile et aérien

- Infrastructures




About 70 French and Korean business experts met on Tuesday at the Seoul residence of the French ambassador to Korea, to exchange opinions on the labor market in the two countries.

One French businessperson based in Korea said that it is unimaginable in France that the government would one-sidedly enforce a work-week system and other detailed labor regulations.

France adopted a 40-hour weekly working system in 1936. The country has continued to cut back on its working hours, to 39 hours a week in 1982 and further to 35 hours a week in January, 2000.

Phillip Lee, a lawyer at Kim and Chang Associates and member of the board Association France-Corée, said the French government has only offered a general guideline or framework for the 35-hour weekly work system, leaving all the details of the labor market, including allowances on overtime, and monthly and yearly paid holidays, to the management and the unions of individual businesses.

Participants expressed fears that the Korean government's plan to adopt a 5-day workweek, if rushed into implementation, could easily backfire.

A Korean expert in the discussion said Japan, an industrialized economy, introduced a 5-day workweek for government offices only in the later-1980s, when the country was already rich, and implemented the same weekday system for the corporate sector in only the later 1990s.

The expert said that the side-effects of Korea's introduction of the shorter workweek would be minimized only if the government listened to grassroots opinions and gradually moved ahead with the implementation schedule.

Participants at the meeting also agreed that major businesses in Korea, including Samsung, would adopt a five-day workweek this year. Small and mid-sized enterprises are likely to suffer an aggravating manpower shortage and worsened employee morale, as workers at the firms will defect to large companies.

There were, however, arguments during the meeting in favor of a five-day workweek. Patrice Couvegnes of the bank Credit Agricole Indosuez, also the chairperson of French Chamber of Commerce in Korea, said the introduction of the five-day workweek in France spurred the economy, giving leisure industries a shot in the arm.

Participants also said that Korean businesses would have to utilize the new workweek to sharpen their competitiveness and advise business not to cut wages along with the drop in working hours.

An executive of the French firm Heidrick and Struggles echoed the observation that a large number of French companies have set up concrete targets for workers, such as hiking their productivity by 10 to 15 percent. The executive said that thanks to French companies' drive to raise their productivity, the labor intensity of French workers has risen to an eye-popping degree.

A participant from the French side said that most firms in the country have solved labor disputes that arose from the new workweek system through "social dialogue," between unions and management.

Jerome Stoll, CEO of Renault Samsung, said that if Korea wants to successfully implement the new workweek, the county would have to calculate working hours a day, a week, or even a year, flexibly and also would be required to vary the pay in allowances on overtime, so that management would be less burdened by personnel expenses. - by Song Eui-dal ( Source : Chosun Ilbo - 29/04/03



The European Union Chamber of Commerce in Korea said yesterday that it will hold an investment relations seminar tomorrow at Shilla Hotel in downtown Seoul in a bid to help draw foreign direct investment for North Gyeongsang Province.

During the session, Lee Eui-geun, governor of North Gyeongsang Province, is expected to highlight the region's well-established transportation infrastructure, high-quality workforce and several incentives for foreign investment, such as tax breaks and subsidies for employment, as reasons for foreign firms to do business there.

The EUCCK said that about 100 foreign companies operating in Korea will attend the seminar to explore how favorable the business environment in the region would be. - Source : Korea herald - 26/05/03



Following is an excerpt of President Roh Moo-hyun's speech at a luncheon hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.-Korea Business Council in Washington on Tuesday. -Ed.

I am very pleased to see so many distinguished businesspeople that have been leading the world economy.

About 80 days have passed since the new Administration was launched in Korea. The tenets of the new Administration in running state affairs are "principle and trust", "transparency and fairness," "dialogue and compromise," and "decentralization and autonomy."

Of these, I place special importance on "trust." I believe that trust constitutes the basic factor in economic development, social integration, and international relations.

The new Administration will steadily and consistently press ahead with market reforms. The goal is to introduce global standards in all Korean economic sectors and then to go ahead to reform economic conditions to match the new standards.

We will provide the laws and systems to help improve market fairness and corporate transparency. The function of the market to oversee corporate transparency will be expanded steadily. Once transparency is bolstered, the comparatively undervalued stock market in Korea will leap forward.

The game will be transparent and fair. There will be no line defining differences between Koreans and foreigners. There will only be a market that is wide open to the world.

I am aware that many potential investors targeting the Korean market are concerned about labor-management relations.

Indeed, confrontation and friction between labor and management have been a considerable drawback on the Korean economy. But change is in the works, and there will be much more. Labor disputes at foreign-invested firms have been reduced virtually to a minimal.

I have thus far been faithfully fulfilling the role required by the times in dealing with labor-management issues.

At a time when the labor movement was repressed unfairly, I sided with the workers to protect human rights. When the rights and interests of workers were enhanced, I offered to coordinate and mediate disputes, scoring breakthroughs by negotiating compromises.

Drawing on the experience thus far accumulated, I will promote a new 'win-win model' of labor-management cooperation. Not only the law and system and practices, but also the flexibility of the labor market and even the rights and duties of workers will match international standards.

The environment for investment by foreign investors will be improved.

Every factor impeding investment and corporate activities by foreigners will be pinpointed and addressed.

In particular, drastic improvements will be made in medical services, educational facilities and the residential environment-areas which present problems for foreigners.

The economic free zone scheduled to be designated by the end of this year is designed precisely to provide such a corporate and living environment.

As for the North Korea's nuclear issue, which left investors wary, I will try to resolve it peacefully without fail.

I am confident that the problem can be resolved through peaceful means without further aggravation. President George W. Bush has also emphasized many times that the nuclear issue will be solved peacefully through diplomatic means.

North Korea must give up its nuclear program without fail so it can become a responsible member of the international community. Close coordination between Korea and the United States will serve as a steppingstone to the peaceful resolution of the problem. I will meet with President Bush tomorrow to have serious discussions.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Korea-U.S. alliance.

Korea-U.S. relations have been evolving into mature ties with both countries doing their best to fulfill their responsibilities on the basis of mutual respect. Korea's troop dispatch to Iraq is a symbolic testimony to this.

Korea-U.S. relations will be more important over the next 50 years than during the past 50 years. The alliance should be maintained even more solidly. I will work to help orient the relationship toward the future and will pursue full partnership on the basis of solid trust.

Korea and the United States are partners in economic cooperation and are profoundly important to each other.

The United States is the largest trading partner and investor for Korea. Korea is the seventh largest trading partner and sixth major export market of the United States. Korea imports many more goods from the United States than do most European nations, long its trading partners.

My Administration and I will extend the maximum possible support to help vitalize investments and exchanges among business leaders of the two countries and technological cooperation.

Let's move ahead together in pursuit of common prosperity.

Thank you. - Source : Korea Herald - 15/05/03



Korea will be one of the top 10 economic powers on the globe by 2010, outperforming the economy of Britain, Mckinsey & Company, a global management-consulting firm, said yesterday.

Dominic Barton, president of Mckinsey's Seoul office, said at a seminar that Korea needs to enhance its service sector on a par with those of other advanced nations in order to emerge as a global economic superpower. The seminar, held at Hilton Hotel, hosted by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy yesterday to explore the global trends in the service and e-business sectors.

Barton said that financial reforms and the domestic demand expected to surge on the back of the introduction of the five-day workweek system will drive the nation's future development.

He added that Korea should find its economic growth momentum in such professional sectors as accounting, consulting and logistics.

Backing his optimistic outlook, some local economists on hand at the seminar suggested that the Korean logistics sector will see its added value triple and create 1.4 million additional jobs in the next 10 years.

They also expected the ratio of e-business, which will act as a crucial economic growth engine, to expand four-fold by 2012.

Yet, they pointed out Korea's need to enact more business-friendly laws and nurture high-quality manpower to further accelerate economic growth.

Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Yoon Jin-sik, who also attended the seminar, said that it is time to change the government's long-standing input-driven growth strategies with ones based on technology innovation in order to emerge as one of the world's economic powerhouses. - Source : Korea Herald - 30/05/2003



While President Roh Moo-hyun is on an official visit to the United States to strengthen the alliance and gain America's confidence in his country's economy, a truckers' strike here is compromising the outcome of his tour.

It is calculated that each passing day means a loss of at least 200 million U.S. dollars in the form of lost sales and future claims of the nation's traders in addition to disrupted production. President Roh and the 30-strong economic mission accompanying him will be seriously embarrassed when they meet U.S. business leaders and try to explain that Korea is competitive. Coupled with the lingering North Korean nuclear crisis, the nationwide labor dispute involving self-employed truck drivers cannot come at a worse time.

An international competitiveness ranking made available recently by a noted research organization placed Korea 13th among some 30 economic units, each with a population of more than 20 million people. Malaysia was fourth, and Korea stood right below Thailand, Japan and China, according to the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2003 published by the Lausanne-based Institute for International Management Development (IMD).

It listed as Korea's major policy tasks the building of peace and prosperity on the peninsula, elimination of corruption and improvement of administrative services. Korea's strongest criteria includes research and development funding, the patent system and the use of the Internet while its weakest areas involve taxation, public attitude toward foreign enterprises, living costs and the openness of national culture in addition to labor relations, the IMD said.

The research institutes' ranking, based on its opinion surveys with 3,500 business executives around the world in the categories of government and business efficiency, economic performance and infrastructure, is a bit disappointing, as it indicated Korea moved down from last year's 10th place. Having experienced the hard restructuring process throughout the difficult period of financial crisis and thereafter, Koreans thought they would be rewarded with international recognition of improved competitiveness and healthy business circumstances. But judgment outside the country is cold.

Reforms in the financial, corporate, public and labor sectors, pushed by the previous Kim Dae-jung administration, brought about a sea change in the way Koreans do business. However, labor resistance deterred full implementation of reform plans, especially at larger corporations. Privatization of major state-run enterprises were delayed or scrapped due to strong opposition from unions.

Quick recovery after 1999 led to a consumption boom that prevented Koreans from testing the effect of incomplete reform. Last year, the world hailed Korea as a model economy pulled by strong consumption. Funds invested in Korea recorded the highest profit rates. Analysts, however, failed to see the latent weakness hidden behind the buying spree until they faced the sudden return of a slump under unfavorable external influences last year.

The economic orientation of the new administration is still seen by outsiders to be unclear after two and a half months in office, and we can find little evidence that it is dedicated to stronger competitiveness. From what the authorities have done in some recent industrial disputes, it is generally observed that the government maintains a pro-labor stance to a certain extent. The electorate, however, has yet to determine whether it means the new president lacks enthusiasm to complete what the previous administration left unfinished.

Quite significantly, a "task force" has been established in the Blue House devoted to eliminating the gap between the rich and poor, unprecedented in the organization of the presidential staff. The first outcome of the special team's month-long study was the announcement last week by the finance-economy minister's plan to exhaustively search for the taxable income of rich professionals, such as medical doctors, lawyers, CPAs and fund managers. Another measure was a drastic increase of property tax that rich property owners abhor.

Thus it is obvious that the new administration puts high priority on establishing economic justice by seeking equal distribution of income, which previous governments had sloganeered but failed to translate into reality. Combined with its obvious labor leaning position, this offers an indication of the economic orientation of the present administration. We are not sure how it can help strengthen our international competitiveness, the vital element for national survival. - Source : Korea herald - 14/05/03



Korean companies' direct overseas investments plunged 36.4 percent in the first quarter of this year as shaky global economic conditions eroded corporate confidence, the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MOFE) said yesterday.

Companies reported a total of $960 million in overseas direct investment in the first three months, from 641 separate deals, compared with $1.51 billion from 661 deals in the previous quarter.

The 36.4 percent fall in investment value was also partly owing to the high comparative base from the previous quarter, when figures were inflated by LG Electronics Inc.'s $300 million investment in manufacturing in the Netherlands, the ministry said.

Compared to the previous year, the number of reported deals rose in the first quarter due to more aggressive overseas investment by small companies and individuals, it added.

Reported overseas direct investments by large conglomerates fell 33.9 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, while investments by small- and medium-size companies jumped 17.1 percent. Overseas direct investments by individuals also rose 12.5 percent.

"Large companies are still hesitant to carry out their overseas investment plans due to a gloomy outlook for the domestic and global economies," said Lee Sung-han, director of the finance ministry's International Economic Policy Division. "They will likely take a wait-and-see attitude for the time being."

China was the most popular target for Korean overseas direct investment, receiving $470 million of investment in the first quarter. The U.S. followed with $184 million in direct investments, the European Union with $78 million, India with $64 million and Vietnam with $46 million.

By sector, reported foreign direct investments in the service industries rose 11.1 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, while those in the manufacturing industries and the retail and wholesale industries fell 19.2 percent and 16.7 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the value of overseas direct investment deals actually completed in the first quarter jumped 45.3 percent on the year to $770 million.

Before the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Korean companies rushed to build manufacturing plants abroad in a bid to lower production costs and broaden their export markets.

The crisis and the current state of the global economy, however, have doused most expansion plans, forcing many cash-strapped Korean firms to cut overseas direct investment drastically.


Source : Korea Herald - 02/05/2003



Foreign stock investors are turning their attention from Taiwan to South Korea due partly to Taipei's slumping investment conditions, a researcher at the Samsung Economic Research Institute said yesterday.

During the first week of May, foreign inventors' daily net buying posted 79.2 billion won in Taiwan and 128.9 billion won in Korea, said Oh Hyon-seok.

Source : Korea Herald - 10/05/03



Le gouvernement s'inquiète de la décrue des IDE depuis le " pic " historique de 1999-2000. En effet, les IDE " réalisés " sont passés de 9,3 Mds USD chacune de ces deux années à 3,5 Mds USD en 2001 et moins de 2 Mds USD en 2002 (source : Banque Centrale). 2002 enregistre le plus faible montant d'IDE depuis 1995, et les analystes s'attendent à une poursuite de la tendance.

Le Ministère du Commerce, de l'Industrie et de l'Energie (MOCIE) vient donc d'annoncer que la loi d'encouragement des investissements étrangers (Foreign Investment Promotion Law) sera revue cette année pour accroître l'aide de l'Etat aux investissements green-field. Divers amendements à la loi allant dans ce sens devraient en effet être déposés à l'Assemblée Nationale fin juillet. Le plus important d'entre eux concernera certainement l'instauration d'un système de cash grant : l'Etat, sans condition préalable, offrira à tout nouvel investisseur étranger (investissement green-field) une gratification en liquide de 10% à 20% de la totalité de la valeur de son investissement. Ce système de subvention au nouvel investissement étranger a déjà cours dans de nombreux pays, comme le Royaume Uni et la Chine. Les taux appliqués dans ces pays évoluent également entre 10% et 20% de la valeur totale de l'investissement.

Les primes de l'Etat coréen iront prioritairement aux secteurs high-tech et aux centres de recherche et développement. Le taux exact de la subvention ne sera pas fixé par la loi : seules des négociations entre le gouvernement et l'investisseur, prenant en compte l'intérêt de l'investissement pour l'économie coréenne (accroissement de la compétitivité du pays, nombre d'emplois crées,...), permettront de fixer le montant de la prime. Aucune condition concernant l'usage des fonds ne sera apportée à la décision d'octroi de la subvention.

Les personnes physiques contribuant notablement à l'attraction d'investissements étrangers en Corée se verront également gratifiées d'une prime de l'Etat (les fonctionnaires du gouvernement central seront exclus de cette mesure). Ce type de mesure a déjà de nombreux précédents : la ville de Shanghai gratifie elle aussi les personnes physiques ayant substantiellement contribué à attirer un investissement étranger d'une prime allant de 0,6% à 1% de la valeur de l'investissement. Par ailleurs, des organisations de promotion de l'investissement étranger, comme la Korea Investment Service Center (KISC), se verront allouer une aide substantielle du gouvernement central.

Source : Objectif Corée - 16/05/2003



A foreigner who invests in South Korea can enjoy various benefits. A foreign-invested company can be exempted from corporate tax for seven years, can import equipment without paying any customs tax, and/or lease a factory lot rent-free for extended periods.

South Korea, in fact, stands out internationally in terms of granting tax incentives. With the exception of Hungary, no other OECD member country offers special tax breaks to foreign investors. Within the OECD, the attraction of foreign capital is usually the province of local governments and undertaken by means of incentives in the form of financing or property leasing. On the other hand, other East Asian nations such as Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan and Singapore do give tax breaks. They differ from South Korea, however, in that they grant tax benefits equally to foreign as well as domestic investors. In this respect, South Korea is unique in providing tax privileges solely to foreign investors.

Tax Incentives

The low-down on the tax breaks Korea gives to foreigners

A foreign investor can claim exemptions on a range of taxes including corporate, income, acquisition, registration, property and integrated land tax. The Tax Exemption Act was enacted to codify the tax benefits and, thereby, secure these benefits statutorily. The act provides legal grounds for the tax breaks that a foreign investor can enjoy, and stipulates the eligibility, specific tax breaks granted and the procedures for applying for them.

The act stipulates that a foreign-invested company must perform the following in order to be eligible for tax breaks:

Introduce advanced technology or a service business

Locate in a Foreign Investment Zone

Settle in an area designated for foreign investment such as a Duty Free


An industry is considered to be a high-tech or service industry that can contribute to competitiveness of South Korean industries in the world market, when it meets the following conditions: 1) That it represents an industry that can generate huge economic and technological benefits 2) Uses a technology introduced to South Korea within the last three years; and 3) The process or service requiring the technology must be undertaken in South Korea. Each enterprise must undergo a screening procedure conducted by the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MOFE) before being designated as such. To date, the ministry has designated 111 businesses as industry supporting, and 467 as high technology.

A company moving into a Foreign Investment Zone (FIZ) is also entitled to tax breaks. A mayor or a governor of a province may designate an area as an FIZ at the request of a foreign investor following approval by MOFE. To qualify for designation as an FIZ, a foreign investor must commit to making investment of at least $50 million in the area.

A foreign-invested company, settled in a Free Trade Zone or Duty Free Zone, is also entitled to tax benefits if the company is a manufacturer investing at least $30 million or hiring at least 300 South Korean workers; or engages in the logistics business and invests at least $30 million. South Korea has designated Free Trade Zones (FTZs) at Masan, Iksan, Gunsan and Daebul and Duty Free Zones at Busan Port, Kwangyang Port, Incheon Port and the Incheon International Airport.


For a schedule of tax exemptions and their durations, please refer to Table 1, below.

Type of tax Exemption and duration

Corporate and income tax

- corporate and income tax levied on a foreign-invested company- tax on dividend(s) received by a foreign investor - 100% tax exemption for the first seven years after profits are first generated- 50% for the following three years

Acquisition, registration, property and integrated land tax

- Taxes levied on assets acquired for business purposes - 100% tax exemption for the first five years after commencement of business operations- 50% for the following three years* each local governement may elect to extend the duration up to 15 years by ordinance

Customs, excice and value-added tax

Capital goods introduced for purposes of business operation -100% tax exemption for the first three years after reporting of investment

Note : the amount of tax exemption is computed thus : the total exemption that a qualified businesse entity is entitled to is pro-rated according to its level of foreign investment. E.g. if a company is 50% foreign owned then it only qualifies for 50% of a total possible exemption.

Only a foreign investor or a foreign-invested company can file an application for tax exemption. The deadlines associated with filing the application are as follows: 1) Where a company is newly incorporated, the application should be filed on or before the end of the tax year within which the corporation has commenced its business operation; or 2) Where a capital increase is made, within two years from the date of reporting such to the South Korean authority.

The application should be filed with MOFE. Alternatively, an applicant may elect to submit the application for tax exemption, along with a notification of foreign investment, to a foreign exchange bank or to the Korea Investment Service Center (KISC).

Once the application is filed, its eligibility will be determined within twenty days from the filing date. MOFE, upon receipt of the application, will consult with other ministries with particular responsibilities in the relevant business field such as the Ministry of Information and Technology and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy. This period of consultation can extend only to a maximum of ten days. An applicant may facilitate and shorten the screening procedure by explaining in advance the technology at issue to the relevant South Korean ministry responsible for its assessment for tax-exemption purposes.

When a foreign investor bases his or her investment decision upon the business he or she intends to invest in is tax-exemption eligible, the foreign investor will wish to verify such eligibility in advance. The South Korean government therefore allows investors to submit a verification request to MOFE, prior to filing an application for foreign investment. Upon receipt thereof, the ministry will notify the investor of its assessment within twenty days.

Incentives on Leasing Government Property

One of the best deals in Asia

The Foreign Investment Promotion Act (FIPA) provides various privileges to foreign-invested enterprises in the leasing and purchase of government land. When a foreign-invested company wishes to lease an asset owned by the South Korean central or local government such as a lot or a factory, the company does not have to go through a bid or auction procedure. It can enter directly into a bilateral contract with the responsible authority.

The maximum lease term is fifty years, which can be extended on renewal by another fifty years. Upon termination of the lease, the company can still construct a permanent building on the leased land on the understanding that the building will be eventually donated to the central or local government, or that the land will be restored to its pristine condition. Should a foreign corporation decide to, for example, purchase government land, the company can postpone making payment by up to one year from the purchase date, or pay for the purchase on an installment plan over a period not exceeding twenty years. In case of an installment payment, the mortgage rate is not allowed to exceed 4 percent.

The FIPA stipulates in detail the incentives for leasing government property in Foreign Investment Zones, Foreign Exclusive lndustrial Complexes and National Industrial Complexes. (See Table 2, below).

Rental Discount Rates by Investment Area

Investment Area Rental discount

Foreign-invested entity investing in a Foreign investment zone -100%

Resident company in a Foreign Exclusive Industrial Complex - 100% (Co. In high-tech industry making an investment of at least $1million)- 75% (General manufacturer making an investment of at least $5 million)

Resident company in a National Industrial Complex - 50% (Co. In high-tech industry making an investment of at least $1million)- 50% (General manufacturer making an investment of at least $5 million)

Foreign Investment Zones (FIZ)

There are seven FIZs; in Cheonan, Yeongi, Eumsung, Wanju, Yeocheon, Sacheon and Yangsan

Foreign-exclusive Industrial Complexes (FEICs)

There are six FEICs; in Cheonan, Pyeongdong, Daebul, Jinsa, Ochang and Gumi

National Industrial Complexes (NICs)

There are 33 NICs including Seoul Digital Industrial Complex.

Section 14 of the FIPA guarantees a high level of financial support to local governments to help them attract foreign investment in terms of factory or amenity construction, discounts on building rentals or sales, and worker educational and/or training. Moreover, the act makes it mandatory for local governments to support foreign individuals or entities wishing to invest plus it authorizes such governments to grant employment assistance to foreign-invested enterprises. Thus, a local government can use this kind of assistance to attract foreign investors.

Source : KT&I - mai-juin 2003



Sweeping changes in modern Korean history have lead to many developments in the business sector. As a result, labor-management relations have also adapted the times.

Relations between the two were particularly intense during the economic development of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. During those years, labor was forced into submission. Being recognized as equal partners with management was not possible under the political circumstances of the day.

It was only after the "6.29 Declaration" in 1987 that labor forces were free to actively voice their opinions. Labor-management relations then saw some improvements, but as yet a fundamental transition to a full state of cooperation had not yet been made.

When the Kim Dae-jung administration came to power in 1997, there was a great need for healthy relations between labor and management for the sake of overcoming the financial crisis that threatened the nation. It was an opportunity for the business sector to learn that cooperation among the labor and management was crucial to their survival and to enhancing the nation's economic competitiveness.

Deeply aware of the requirements of the changing times in all areas of business, the Ministry of Labor has been promoting a "new labor-management culture" project since 1999. According to one report, much has been done since the project's inception to promote cooperative labor-management relations.

For example, there has been an increase in the number of businesses that share management information and profits equally with workers. There are currently 1,256 enterprises that practice the so-called "outcome distribution system." This is a marked improvement since 1999 when there were just 689.

The report also shows there are more companies such as LG Electronics and Hyundai Engineering holding special events to promote harmony between labor and management.

Although the new labor-management culture project has lead to many improvements, there are still numerous plans in store.

First, the Ministry of Labor will try to reinforce the new labor-management culture by providing support in accordance with the different needs of enterprises. For example, enterprises that are in need of guidance with regard to labor-management relations will be offered personnel management services in order to alleviate conflict.

Enterprises that have moderately good labor-management relations will be encouraged to seek further improvements by providing consulting and acknowledging their efforts by selecting and recognizing these firms.

The Ministry of Labor also plans to initiate labor-management conferences and open management systems to strengthen mutual trust between both parties.


By Do Je-hae

Source : Korea Herald - 06/05/03



A set of new measures is under development that would greatly enhance Korea's industrial productivity, particularly in the labor and competitiveness areas, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said yesterday.

The ministry unveiled a blueprint that includes an online program to support productivity growth and an upgraded payment system that guarantees fair distribution, between employers and employees, of profits from productivity increases.

Specifically, the ministry will install a "Productivity Reform Center" within the Korea Productivity Center to design and oversee an Internet program that can accurately measure the productivity of a manufacturer and offer advice for improvement and other consulting services.

For this project, the ministry will inject 5.6 billion won ($4.7 million) through 2007 to build a database of company information from 2,500 leading local and foreign manufacturers that can be accessed by 5,000 firms simultaneously.

The ministry is also working on forming a network of productivity consulting experts that can be called upon for advice whenever a local company requests help.

The new model of profit-sharing will also promote peaceful working relationships between the employers and the employees, the ministry said, describing the to-be-introduced productivity-based compensation system that would offer incentives for the laborers.

The Productivity Reform Center will be responsible for developing and offering the inventive payment system to those manufacturers who have reached an agreement with their workers to implement the compensation program.

In addition, the ministry is conducting a study on ways to minimize damage to productivity due to the upcoming implementation of the five-day workweek at small- and medium-sized enterprises, and a detailed analysis on the specific strategies to up productivity in the nation's top 10 industries, including steel, automobiles, machinery, distribution and textiles.

"These efforts are launched to prepare for rising problems like discontentment among workers and stiffening competition from China," the ministry explained in a press report.


Source : Korea Herald - 15/05/03



Nine Korean government agencies, including the ministries of Information and Communication, Science and Technology and Commerce, Industry and Energy, have joined together to launch the $2 billion 2003 NanoTechnology Development Program.

The government in Seoul, which has been working to promote nanotechnology since last year, announced that the investment program will support R&D for core research, securing R&D infrastructure and bolstering commercial scale applications of nanotechnology.

Last year's investments in nanotechnology laid the basis for R&D, training scientists and building the research infrastructure, according to officials. Expanding an initial R&D investment of $800 million by $400 million was largely credited with propelling Korea into sixth place worldwide in terms of the number of nanotechnology related research theses and patents.

By Soon-A Cho, eWEEK Korea

Source : eweek - 07/05/03



Now designated as a strategic industry to pilot national economic growth in the 21st century, the korean bioindustry is striving to build a niche on the country's longstanding advantage in information technology.

The Korean bioindustry began to take its present shape in the mid-1990s. By the late 1990s, more than 600 biotechnology companies were in operation, created by a combination of the boom in biotech investment and strong government support. Major pharmaceutical corporations and venture businesses are now intensely engaged in the research of genetic materials, genetic therapy, DNA chip, histological technology and the production of biologically active materials from genetically modified animals, all areas in which the advanced countries are firm leaders.

In a relatively short time, superficial indices such as the number of companies and the size of investments have increased sharply. However, the Korean biotechnology industry lacks critical market mass, lags in general high value-added core technology and is short on infrastructure such as cGMP and clinical test facilities. Furthermore, it lacks a global network that would otherwise enable the industry to overcome the shortfalls in technology, personnel and low domestic demand. However, the industry has several competitive advantages.

First, the country has a world-class information technology (IT) infrastructure. With the increase in the amount of genetic information, the importance of high-speed information analysis and high-throughput screening processing has become paramount. In this regard, IT is emerging as central to the goals of faster production and analysis of greater amounts of data. In fact, futurist Alvin Toffler noted in June 2001 that, ¡°The coming age of the complete integration of information technology and biotechnology will provide Korea with new opportunities in both fields.¡±

Second, Korea has traditionally been strong in fermentation technology, which has provided the country with a technological advantage in recombinant DNA technology, cell fusion and protein engineering. Third, Korea possesses a diversity of marine and land-based animal and plant resources that serves to support the development of the biotech industry.

Furthermore, as it would be virtually impossible for a single country to have overwhelming competitiveness in all areas of biotechnology, Korea is well positioned to gain international competitiveness through a ¡°select and focus¡± strategy. The government has realized the strategic importance of biotechnology and has officially designated it as a ¡°high-tech core industry of the 21st century,¡± so ensuring a strong level of policy support. Specifically, the government is establishing an inbound investment promotion program to attract foreign corporations plus an R&D complex exclusively for foreign biotechnology companies.

Growing Organically

The number of bio-venture start-ups rose sharply in the late 1990s as investment in biotechnology boomed and the government introduced a suite of policies to support the industry. The number of bio-ventures in operation has leapt to more than 600 in 2002 from a mere 200 in 1999. A survey by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) indicates most bio-venture companies are recent in origin with more than two-thirds being established during or after 1999.

Approximately 35 percent of companies surveyed were in the biomedical field, followed by 22 percent in bio-food, 11 percent in the bioenvironmental area and 9 percent in biochemicals. The average bio-venture firm generates 5.1 billion won ($4.25 million) in revenue, has a capitalization of 1.5 billion won ($1.25 million), 21 employees and has five or more patents either registered or pending.





Domestic Biotechnology Market Trends

1997 1998 1999 2000

Domestic production(100 million won) 4,246($446 million) 5,085($363 million) 6,701($563 million) 9,000($796 million)

Exports(100 million won) 3,018($317 million) 4,815($344 million) 4,543($382 million) 6,101($540 million)

Imports(100 million won) 1,385($146 million) 1,702($122 million) 2,114($178 million) 3,306($292 million)


As of end-2000, 9,322 professionals were employed in the biotechnology sector. Some 5,224 worked in academia, 2,701 in corporations and 1,467 in research institutes. Domestic biotechnology biotech production amounted to 900 billion won ($786 million) in 2000, while the total market (production minus exports plus imports) reached 620.5 billion won ($496 million).

Average annual growth during the 1992-to-2000 period stood at 29.3 percent, and industry output is forecasted to grow to 4 trillion won ($3.2 billion) by 2010. By sector, the domestic biomedical market amounted to 50 billion won ($44.2 million) in 2000, accounting for 55 percent of the entire biotech market. Bioprocessing claimed 14 percent of the market, and biochemicals, 10 percent. The industry is expected to expand rapidly to 2.1 trillion won ($1.68 billion) in 2003 and to 6.1 trillion won ($4.88 billion) in 2010.

A Research Priority

The government budget for research in biotechnology as a proportion of its total research budget was 3.5 percent in 1994. This increased to 5 percent in 1998 and 8 percent in 2001. While the average annual increase in the total government budget from 1998 to 2001 was 19.4 percent, the budget for biotechnology purposes grew by 46 percent, indicating the commitment of the government to the industry.

Furthermore, the government¡¯s biotech research budget rocketed from the 100-billion won ($84-million) range prior to 2000, to 246.2 billion won ($218 million) in 2000, once the biotech boom started. The budget further increased to 323.8 billion won ($251 million) in 2001, to 450 billion won ($360 million) in 2002 and almost 500 billion won ($400 million) in 2003.

The biotechnology budget increased by 13.9 percent or 63.3 billion won ($51 million) in 2003 from the previous year, so exceeding the budget increase for the general IT industry (8.9 percent) for the first time. In fact, a survey by the Korea Institute of Science & Technology (KIST) entitled, ¡°Government Research & Development Budget, 2003,¡± indicated that the research and development budget of 496.2 billion won ($397 million) for BT surpassed the 491.5-billion won ($393-million) budget for IT by 4.7 billion won ($4 million). Venture capital companies have invested 2 trillion won to 3 trillion won ($1.6 billion to $2.4 billion) in bio-venture companies, representing 10 percent of their portfolio, on aggregate. The contribution from the venture capital companies comprises 20 percent of overall bio-venture capitalization. As of the end of August 2002, 14 biotechnology funds had invested a total of 148.3 billion won ($117 million) in almost 50 venture companies, representing a total of 136 individual investments.

The Majors Move In

The Korean economy has been led by different industries at different stages of its evolution. Following the impact of IT, various technologies including environmental technology (ET), space technology (ST), nanotechnology (NT) have been fingered in turn as the next growth engine.


Biotech investments by major conglomerates

Company Business Investment Plan Sales Target

LG Life Science Anti-cancer, antibiotics and functional genomics 150 billion won ($120 million) by 2005 350 billion won ($280 million) by 2005

Samsung Fine Chemical DNA chip, bioinformatics, genomics 20 billion won ($16 million) by 2005 100 billion won ($80 million) by 2005

SK Central nervous system and cancer treatment, genomics, bioinformatics 1 trillion won ($799 million) by 2005 On a par with top companies by 2005

Kolon Arthritic treatments using tissue genes, bulk pharmaceuticals plus intermediates and hemodialyzers 30 billion won ($23 million) by 2005110 billion won ($88 million) by 2010 40 billion won ($32 million) by 2005100-150 billion won ($80-120 million) by 2010

Doosan Pure phospholipids, base materials for cosmetics 17 billion won ($14 million) by 2007 250 billion won ($200 million) by 2007

POSCO Bioscience 60 billion won ($48 million) by 2007 N/A

Cheil Jedang Food and medicine using fermentation technology, EPO, G-CSF, genomics Over 300 billion won ($240 million) by 2005 650 billion won ($520 million) by 2005


However, the government has identified biotechnology as the strategic industry that will be the main plank of national competitiveness in the 21st century. To this end, the government plans to nurture the industry to become one of the top seven globally by 2010 by pursuing five key strategies based on 38 goals. Its specific goals for the industry are for it to be one-tenth of the current size of the IT industry by 2010 and be equal or greater than the current size of the IT industry by 2020. At this stage, the government envisages the industry will have achieved the core technology to develop world-class pharmaceutical treatments and become a leader in the field of bioinformation by harnessing the competitive power of the country¡¯s IT industry.

Large corporations and pharmaceutical venture companies are the two classes of enterprise that either invest capital in biotechnology or manufacture related products. POSCO, Samsung Fine Chemicals, Doosan, Kolon, Samyang Genex, Cheil Jedang are typical of the large corporations that are increasing their investment in biotechnology in realization of its potential as a major growth area while shifting their focus from IT and semiconductors. In addition, companies in industries related to biotechnology such as food, chemicals and textiles are staking out territory in the BT sector. Among the pharmaceutical companies, top-tier organizations such as Yuhan Corporation, Dong-A Pharmaceutical, Daewoong Pharmaceutical and Hanmi Pharmaceutical have been the most successful in applying their research and production capability to biotech development.

Furthermore, the pharmaceutical majors have been active in forming technological and capital alliances. Green Cross has been a leading investor through its subsidiary, Green Cross Venture Investment Company in 22 companies including Macrogen, Viromed and Zenexin. Dong-A Pharmaceutical invested in Zenexin, which is working on the development of an AIDS vaccine, while Hanmi Pharmaceutical invested in Imagene, which is developing a new type of antibiotic. Daewoong Pharmaceutical invested in Peptron, which has specialized in peptides. Investment such as these are likely to become more common in the future.

Chalking up Achievements

Under the aegis of the government-sponsored Korea Bio Venture Association, many bioventure companies, in the fields of biomedicine, biofood, bioenvironment and bioagriculture are seeking technology alliances and product export deals with, as well as investment from corporations in the United States, Japan and Britain. They include Scigenic, Bio Angel, Genoprot, Bioneer, Crystal Genomics, Sunbio, Cell Biotech, Green Biotech, Eugene Science, C-TRI, Biomed Lab, Proteogen, Aprogen, Neopharm, Miztec, Kiginscience, Macrogen, Nexgen, Standardia Diagnostics, ToolGen, Imagene and Bio Korea.

Since Korea is a country with few natural resources, its spectacular industrial development was achieved through harnessing the creativity and energies of its people. If Korea can again capitalize on its creativity, it cannot only catch up, but become a leader in the knowledge-intensive biotechnology industry. The fruits of research by what is the first generation of venture companies are already apparent.

Through the efforts of Macrogen, Korea became the eighth country in the world in 2000 to sequence the entire genome of Zymomonas mobilis, a microorganism that ferments ethanol. The potential of Macrogen¡¯s technology was recognized when the company registered the Zymomonas genome sequence at GenBank run by the Washington D.C.-based National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in 2001. Furthermore, in 2001, the company unveiled its Korean genome map, derived from data produced by the U.S.-British Human Genome Project (HGP).

ViroMed Laboratories specializes in gene therapy on the basis of its core technology in gene vectors. In particular, ViroMed has strengths in the fields of retrovirus and naked DNA vectors. ViroMed¡¯s new naked DNA vector is the first gene therapy to receive approval from the Korean Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its clinical trials have indicated positive results. Its retrovirus vector has been awarded overseas patents. Together with ReMDR, its anti-cancer treatment based on the retrovirus vector, production of both items has been licensed out to 50-percent shareholder in ViroMed, Takara Shuzo Co., Ltd. of Japan under separate agreements worth $500,000 each. In conjunction with Dong-A Pharmaceutical, ViroMed Gene has devised a gene therapy for ischemic foot ulcers that has been approved for clinical trials. In the field of cell therapy, Cellontech launched Chondron, a treatment that generates tendon cells that has now been approved and commercialized.

Industry Game Plan

The government has selected a number of initiatives to enhance the technology, capitalization and international connections of the domestic biotech industry. They include boosting inbound foreign investment, undertaking joint R&D projects with advanced-country institutions. Below follows an overview of each of them.

Boosting inbound foreign investment

The government will put in place a number of strategies to boost inbound BT investment. They include:

- Forming an investment procurement team to select target industries and companies and attract them to locate in Korea

- Dispatching investor relations (IR) teams to investing institutions in Europe, Japan and North America on behalf of domestic biotechnology companies

- Operating a Korea pavilion at BIO 2003 to be held in Washington D.C. in June and staffing it with IR personnel with the goals of disseminating information on Korean biotechnology companies, developing a contact list of future target companies/industries, and holding investment consultations on site

- Hold partnering events designed to bring together Korean biotechnology industry representatives and those from the state of Pennsylvania, renowned for its ¡°bioclusters,¡± i.e., groupings of biotech companies

- Promote foreign investment by facilitating company visits

Joint R&D with overseas institutions

A number of initiatives are now underway to foster joint research projects with leading overseas biotech institutions. They include:

Ø Joint R&D with Britain¡¯s Human Genome Mapping Project Resource Centre (HGMP-RC) and Institute of Cancer Research (IRC), one of the world¡¯s leading cancer research organizations

Ø Jointly hold conferences on bioindustry technology and investment with Japan (August 2003) and China (October 2003)

Ø Hold bilateral conferences, symposia and partnering events

Strong government support

Under the Bio 2000 project, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy has announced a master plan to promote the industry to global status comprising five overall strategies that embody 38 individual goals. (Browse at for more information under ¡°Market¡±).

An Industry on the Point of Take Off

Over 600 bio venture companies have been established in Korea since the government identified and pledged support to the biotechnology industry as a national growth engine for the 21st century. In 2003, the government R&D budget for biotechnology surpassed the budget for IT for the first time.

A major biotech initiative launched by the government is its Bio 2000 project, the ultimate aim of which is to promote Korea to become one of the top seven countries in the field of biotechnology. The strategies include:

Ø Forming a cooperative system throughout the biotechnology industry

Ø Establishing infrastructure to facilitate early product commercialization

Ø Concentrating on core technology development

Ø Nurturing industry professionals

Ø Constructing a global marketing and technology transfer network

The Korean biotechnology industry¡¯s traditional strength in fermentation technology has led it to gain a competitive edge in gene recombination, cell fusion and protein technology. With the increase in genetic information available since the Genome project, IT technology has become central to faster production and analysis of greater amounts of data. In addition, Korea can gain a competitive advantage in the biotechnology market by putting priority on research in IT-related fields such as bioinformatics.

Korea is particularly suited for the development of the biotechnology industry given its abundant marine and land-based animal and plant resources. As the field expands, it will be impossible for a single country to maintain a monopolistic edge in all areas. Accordingly, the chance for success in particular, niche areas becomes viable.

Investors can take advantage of a full range of opportunities in Korea¡¯s biotechnology sector by capitalizing in strong government policies, the country¡¯s globally competitive IT infrastructure and its highly diverse biological resource base.

by Lee Jin-Bok(, CEO, Biotelne

Source : KT&I - mai-juin 2003



BASF a choisi Gunsan comme site de production et de recherche et développement pour ses activités de biotechnologie. Le groupe allemand, serait le deuxième grand groupe international à établir un tel site stratégique en Corée, après Volvo. La constrution du site devrait être achevée en octobre. 3000 tonnes de vitamine B2 y seront produites annuellement. BASF estime le coût des travaux à 400 millions d' USD, en complément des 1,62 milliard d' USD déjà investis en Corée, depuis la fin 2001.

Source : Joong Ang Ilbo - 12/05/03



Le groupe Scania a inauguré un nouveau site à Sacheon dans le sud-est de la Corée du Sud. Il servira de hub central. Ces installations sont situées dans une région où se trouvent une importante aciérie, de nombreuses autoroutes qui desservent d'importants aéroport et le port principal du pays.

Elles comprennent un atelier pour l'entretien des véhicules ainsi qu'un entrepôt. Scania réalise un volume de vente de l'ordre de 2.000 poids lourds par an en Corée du Sud.

Source : Club-Transport - 07/05/03



L'armée sud-coréenne a terminé le déminage ainsi que les travaux préparatoires de reconstruction des lignes ferroviaires et des routes inter-coréennes, quelques neuf mois après le début du chantier. Suite à un accord entre la Corée du Sud et la Corée du Nord, les deux pays se sont en effet entendus sur la réouverture des itinéraires routiers et ferroviaires entre leurs deux territoires.

La responsabilité des travaux restant, qui doivent s'achever au cours de l'été 2003, est confiée au Bureau de Gestion des Travaux Publics de la région de Séoul. Les deux pays s'étaient mis d'accord pour reconnecter la ligne ferroviaire de Gyeongui et ses routes adjacentes respectivement fin 2003 et au printemps 2004. Mais les travaux furent retardés pour diverses raisons. Un accord a également été signé concernant la re-connexion des 27 km de la ligne ferroviaire de Donghae et des 14 km de la route adjacente.

Source : CFCE/Xinhua - 19/05/03



Major business groups plan to make facilities and research and development (R&D) investments of around 26 trillion by the end of this year to inject revive the sagging economy.

Vice chairmen of five leading business organizations, including the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), said yesterday in a joint-statement that despite the economic slowdown, 14 leading conglomerates plan to increase their facilities and R&D investments to 25.9 trillion by the year's end, a 3.1 percent increase from the investment projection made earlier this year.

``Despite the gloomy outlook for the economy in the second half of the year, leading firms decided to raise their investment level not only to boost the slow economy but to maintain their global competitiveness,'' executive FKI deputy chairman Hyun Myung-kwan said.

However, to make companies implement their investment plans as scheduled, he stressed that the government has to pursue measures to clear away uncertainties in the market.

Uncertainties that the business organizations underlined in the statement include security concerns, continued labor unrest and the rocky financial market.

In particular, the business community asked for the government to enforce the law against illegal union activities for the stability of the labor market, while demanding plans to raise liabilities in the financial market which is losing the confidence of market players due to mounting credit card debts.

``In addition, the business community also called on the government to improve investment conditions by offering tax incentives, including a corporate tax cut similar to the level of competitors such as Hong Kong and Singapore,'' Hyun said.

It also urged the government to pump-line the economy by expanding fiscal spending up to more than 5 trillion won.

Source : Korea Times - 29/05/2003



Samsung SDI, a display-panel manufacturing unit of the Samsung Group, said yesterday it has developed the world's largest high density plasma display panel measuring 70 inches in size.

The new 70-inch display device, about 1 meter long, 1.55 meters wide and 8.9 centimeters thick, boasts a brightness of 800 candela per square meter, a contrast of 1,200-1 and a striking vividness, the company said.

Samsung said that its new PDP screen features 2.07 million pixels, enhancing picture clarity compared with the previous market dominant model, which has 1.05 million pixels. The development of the new model came a year after the company succeeded in making a 63-inch PDP screen last April.

The company said that it will crank up its production of the new model to between 2,000 and 3,000 units per month starting early next year.

The display maker said that the high-end PDP screen would be best used in public places such as waiting rooms of train stations and airports.


By Koh Byung-joon

Source : Korea Herald - 15/05/03



Samsung Electronic's laptop computer "Sens X10" hit sales of 10,000 units during the past two months since the sales kicked off March 12 this year, said Korea's largest electronics maker yesterday.

X10 is known to be the world's first notebook computer to include Intel Centrino Mobile Technology. The model's features include a 14.1-inch TFT XGA LCD screen and extended battery life along with the world's first and thinnest 9.5mmH DVD/CD-RW Combo drive seems to have appealed to domestic consumers, the company said.

Samsung plans to release two more laptop models loaded with Intel Centrino technology within the second half of this year.

Source : Korea herald - 26/05/03



by Yi In-yul (

Samsung SDI, the largest display product manufacturer in the country, said Wednesday that it has succeeded in developing a record-setting 70-inch plasma display panel (PDP).

The firm said that the new panel has a width of 1,550 mm and a height of 1,000 mm, making it the world's largest television display product.

The commercial production of the new product is to start early next year at the firm's second PDP assembly line, the firm said, adding that production would be about 2,000 to 3,000 units a month.

Source : Chosun Ilbo - 14/05/03


Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering a reçu des commandes pour un montant total de 350 millions $ concernant la construction de 9 bateaux :

- 5 bateaux transporteurs de gaz et pétrole liquéfiés (charge de 38.000 tonnes pour Bergesen DY Shipping en Norvège, Exmar en Belgique et AP MOLLER au Danemark),

- 2 tankers pour le transport du pétrole pour le Canada (charge de 115.000 tonnes),

- 2 pour le transport de produits pétroliers pour l'Arabie Saoudite (charge 50.000 tonnes).

Cette commande provient de 3 sociétés européennes.

Daewoo a indiqué avoir obtenu un carnet de commandes de 930 millions $ (nouvelles et anciennes commandes), et des commandes pour le secteur offshore pour 700 millions $. Avec les nouvelles commandes de 2003, Daewoo a réalisé 58 Source : CFCE/ Wall Street Journal Europe & Maeil Business Newspaper - 15/05/03



"Péchiney, membre actif de Partenariat France, a depuis son origine été un groupe tourné vers l'export (83 % du chiffre d'affaires est aujourd'hui réalisé à l'international). La division du commerce international, Péchiney World Trade, est présente par son réseau d'agences dans plus de 65 pays et a réalisé en 2001 un CA de 3,8 milliards d'Euros.

Depuis la création de Partenariat France, Péchiney a mis en oeuvre un grand nombre d'opérations de portage et d'assistance à l'export de PME françaises. C'est dans ce cadre qu'en 2002 une mission d'aide à la vente de licence de technologie a été réalisée par Péchiney pour le compte de la société Saint Jean Industries.

Saint Jean Industries, PME de la région Rhône-Alpes créée en 1962, a aujourd'hui 450 employés et a réalisé en 2001 un chiffre d'affaires de 55 millions d'Euros. Elle est spécialisée dans la fabrication de pièces de suspension en aluminium destinées principalement à l'industrie automobile et a su s'imposer dans son secteur en développant des technologies innovantes.

Le procédé breveté Cobapress (technique qui permet d'optimiser la fabrication des pièces de fonderie par une opération successive de forge) est une avancée technologique majeure qui a permis à Saint Jean Industries de devenir l'un des acteurs principaux dans son métier.

La croissance de Saint Jean Industries a été portée depuis les années 1990 par la signature de partenariats avec des grands constructeurs automobiles comme Peugeot mais aussi d'accords de licence avec des partenaires internationaux au Japon ou aux Etats-Unis.

C'est dans le cadre de cette recherche d'alliances stratégiques à l'export que Saint Jean Industries a bénéficié du support de la filiale coréenne de Péchiney. Le marché de l'automobile étant un axe de développement commun pour Péchiney et pour Saint Jean Industries (réduction programmée du poids des véhicules automobiles par l'utilisation de technologies innovantes et compétitives), c'est tout naturellement que les équipes de Péchiney Corée ont introduit Saint Jean Industries auprès de leurs contacts chez Hyundai Motor. Des premiers développements communs ont été initiés avec une première pièce réalisée en 2002 et un accord important devrait être signé dès 2003 entre Saint Jean Industries et Hyundai Motor".

Source : Partenariat France - 15/05/03



Luxury brand shoppers in Korea favored Louis Vuitton the most, statistics showed yesterday.

MPI, a consulting firm specializing in textile and apparels, said it analyzed sales revenues of foreign luxury fashion brands at the country's nine major department stores last year.

It said 120 brands posted a total of 563.7 billion won ($469.8 million) in sales during the year.

Of the total, 45.38 billion won in sales were made by Louis Vuitton from France, reaping an 8 percent market share.

The second largest sales volume, 31.35 billion won, was achieved by Italy's Gucci, followed by another Italian brand Salvatore Ferragamo at 31.05 billion won, France's Cartier at 30.45 billion won, France's Chanel at 28.77 billion won, Tiffany & Co. from the United States at 23.96 billion won and Burberry from England at 23.64 billion won.

These top 10 brands took away 38 percent of the entire sales revenue for the foreign luxury goods segment.

Other top 20 best selling foreign brands included Prada, Hermes, Etro, Georgio Armani, Bvlgari, Max Mara, Mani, St. John, Missoni and Celine.

By item, commodities such as bags, wallets, sunglasses and watches occupied the largest 55 percent of the entire sales, reaching 311.6 billion won in value.

Another 230.9 billion won was spent on women's clothing and 21.14 billion won on men's apparel.

MPI said the overall sales of foreign luxury brands would reach well beyond 1 trillion won when the sales from individual shops are included.

It estimated that foreign luxury brands currently occupy 5.2 percent of the entire fashion market of the country.

"The gap between popular brands and unpopular brands among the luxury brands is huge, and an increasing amount of revenue is coming from sales of clothing," said Choi Hyun-ho of MPI.


Source : Korea Herald - 17/05/03



Technip-Coflexip vient de se voir attribuer sur la période récente trois contrats d'une particulière importance: en Angola, le groupe a été retenu par TotalfinaElf pour deux contrats distincts liés au développement du champ offshore de Dalia: d'une part, en tant que chef de file d'un groupement d'entreprises d'ingénierie et de construction, un contrat d'environ 560 millions d'euros pour la construction des installations de surface de l'unité flottante de production, stockage et déchargement (FPSO). Le FPSO de Dalia produira 240 000 barils/jour de pétrole brut. Il aura une capacité de traitement de liquides de 400 000 bl/jour et une capacité de stockage de 2 millions de barils. Il comprendra deux unités de traitement pour séparer le gaz et l'eau et pour chauffer le brut. Cette unité flottante mesurera 300 mètres de long et 63 mètres de large et comprendra un quartier d'habitation de 120 lits. Les partenaires du groupe français sont l'Italien Saipem et le Norvégien Stolt Offshore, ainsi que les Coréens Samsung Heavy Industries et Daewoo SME. La part revenant à Technip-Coflexip dans ce contrat est de l'ordre de 175 millions d'euros. Le champ de Dalia, exploité par TotalFinaElf E&P Angola, est situé dans le bloc 17 au large des côtes angolaises, dans une profondeur d'eau de 1200 à 1500 mètres. Sa mise en production est prévue pour la mi-2006. D'autre part, Technip-Coflexip per se a été chargé de l'ingénierie, de la fourniture et de la pose du système de conduites sous-marines, dans le cadre d'un contrat estimé à 510 millions d'euros environ, soit, et de loin, le plus gros contrat jamais remporté par le groupe dans ce domaine. Ce contrat comprend l'ingénierie, la fourniture et la pose d'environ 90 km de conduites rigides de production, d'injection de gaz et d'injection d'eau, de 70 km d'ombilicaux en acier, de 25 km de conduites de liaison fond-surface flexibles et d'un système de déchargement du brut. Il comprend également la pré-installation du système d'ancrage de la plateforme, son remorquage depuis le chantier de construction et le raccordement du système d'ancrage, l'installation des collecteurs ainsi que toutes les opérations de raccordements sous-marins associées.

Source : - 12/05/03



En Corée, le groupe déploiera le premier système de pilotage automatique basé sur des communications radio pour Korean National Railways. Ce système sera installé sur la ligne reliant Séoul à sa banlieue Bundang, longue de plus de 20 km. Le montant total du projet s'élève à 23 millions d'euros environ sur 3 ans. Alcatel travaillera en partenariat avec Samsung SDS qui sera responsable de la fourniture du système de communication de données, fondé sur une architecture déjà utilisée pour le monorail de Las Vegas, le métro de New York, la ligne 13 du métro parisien et la ligne desservant le parc Disneyland à Hong-Kong. En Asie-Pacifique, la solution SelTrac d'Alcatel est en service dans le métro d'Ankara et sur la ligne Putra de Kuala Lumpur (Malaisie). Elle sera mise en service dès cette année sur la ligne ouest du réseau KCRC à Hong Kong, puis sur sa future ligne est, ainsi qu'à Wuhan en Chine centrale, et à Penny's Bay (île Lantau à Hong Kong).

Source : - 26/05/03



Renault Samsung Motors said yesterday that its popular compact SM3 has obtained the highest five-star grade in a head-on collision test conducted recently by the U.S. test agency MGA Research Corp.

"In a recent head-on collision test under the U.S. agency's new car assessment program, the SM3 compact won the five-star grade for the safety of its driver's seat," said the automaker in a press release.

"The five-star grade means that the percentage of a serious injury from a head-on collision accident falls below 10 percent."

The statement said the secret to the 1.5-liter SM3's top-rate safety grade is its unique safety-oriented structural design, including two zone body and safety zone.

"The best collision test result from the most prestigious U.S. test agency has again proven the superiority of the Renault Samsung compact, together with the SM5 sedan," said the statement.


Source : Korea herald - 14/05/03



Carrefour Korea Ltd. said yesterday that it would invest 1 billion euros ($840 million) in the local market over the next three to four years.

The amount would be similar to the investment made since 1996, the company said, when it founded its Korean operation.

Marc Oursin, chief executive of the France-based discount store, said the new investment would be used to increase the number of stores and remodel existing shops up to the level of department store. Mr. Oursin will finish his duties in Korea at the end of June.

Carrefour Korea has opened up to nine stores each year since it launched its first store in Jungdong, Incheon, in 1996.

The company said it would focus on enhancing its shops while reducing the number of newly opening stores to between three and five.

Carrefour said it saw sales increases of between 15 percent and 20 percent after it remodeled two of its stores.

The company opened a store at the Sangam World Cup Stadium in Seoul on May 23.

It will open two more shops this year, as well as remodel six branches. It plans to remodel six or seven branches next year.

The company named its new local chief executive as Philippe Broianigo, a former chief purchasing officer at its China unit.

Source : Joong Ang Ilbo - 30/05/2003







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