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2013, 2014 대통령과 함께한 세라젬 경제사절단 스토리
더 멀리, 그리고 함께 가기 위한 17일간의 힘찬 여정!

[2013년 6월 27일~30일]

마음과 믿음을 쌓은 3박 4일간의 여정 신뢰 외교를 바탕으로 전략적 협력동반자로 거듭난 중국

중국 이미지

(Left) China Economic Mission Group attended the breakfast meeting invited by President Park Gyeun-hye
(Right)"New Strategy Development Forum For Korean Small & Medium Businesses in China" which was prepared to seek measures to expand business in China.

Last June, the largest scale economic mission group (71 people) visited China accompanying President Park Geun-hye. That visit made a headline because the scale of the mission group was 1.5 times larger than the economic mission visit to USA and more than half of the mission members consisted of the small and medium sized business. Also it was 2 times larger than the former President Lee Myung-bak’s mission visit (36 people) to China in 2008.

The economic mission group attended the “China-Korea Business Forum” hosted by The Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). During the forum the economic mission group sought measures for the economic cooperation between the two countries. Including Ceragem Chairman Lee Whan-seong, about 300 guests consisted of the government officials and business people of the two countries attended this event. Various topics regarding the economic cooperation were discussed at the forum such as the status of the China-Korea investment, the China-Korea industrial cooperation and the environmental energy cooperation. The slogan for this mission to China was “Sim Sin Ji Ryeo” chosen by President Park Geun-hye. The meaning of the slogan is a journey with trust and friendship. In fact, the positive outcome from this visit established the new frame of China-Korea relationship for the next 20 years.

세라젬 중국법인 천진공장 전경

China, as a country, has the largest population in the world and Korea’s biggest export market. China is a very important market for Ceragem’s business because almost half of the sales are generated from China. Ceragem started the business in China 13 years ago and currently Ceragem has 2 corporate offices in Beijing and Quindío and 3 factories in Tianjin, Yanji and Xiuyanman. Ceragem’s major product, the thermal spine massager takes 70% of the market share of the thermal massager market in China. Ceragem’s thermal massager became an essential health product among Chinese.

View of Ceragem Tianjin factory

중국 이미지

(Left) Ceragem obtained "China's Well-known Trademark" as a Korean small & medium business for the first time
(Center, Right) The article about Ceragem's obtainment of "Well-known Trademark" on Chinese media

With the combination of the state of art technology and the principals of western and eastern medicine, Ceragem’s thermal massager has been recognized for its medical effect worldwide. In 2011, Ceragem achieved the brand recognition by obtaining “China’s Well-known Trademark”. The “Well-known Trademark” is selected by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of China considering the overall evaluation of the domestic and international brand recognition, total sales and business activities. For Korean companies, only three large companies such as Samsung and LG are registered under that category. Ceragem is the first Korean small and medium sized company that obtained the “Well-known Trademark”. This achievement provided Ceragem an opportunity able to dominate China’s health market as a leading brand and be recognized as a trustworthy company among the Chinese customers.

In addition, Ceragem has been taking the initiative in performing philanthropic activities in the local communities in China. Last year, Ceragem received the award of “The best company fulfilling social responsibility” at the “Healthy China Awards” ceremony which is the prestigious award ceremony in the health care field in China. The award is presented to that company which contributed to the public good by evaluating fulfillment of corporate social responsibility. Ceragem was the first foreign company who received this award.

Ceragem has been supporting the education of the students from the low-income families by providing scholarship (about 350 million won) every year since 2007. Ceragem has been performing its social responsibilities continuously in the various fields. Such efforts include promoting health of the Chinese people; reducing the medical cost through the development of high quality medical device; modernizing and pursuing the scientific approach of traditional Chinese medicine and supporting the employment by providing free job training. Ceragem’s brand recognition was raised higher from the economic mission visit. Ceragem is planning to expand the health care business in the various fields such as functional health food, water purifier, air purifier and personal diagnosis device.

중국 이미지

(Left) Ceragem received the award of ''The Best Company Fulfilling Social Responsibility For Healthy China in 2012" (Center) Ceragem participating in tree planting campaign of Ceragem China Corporate Office (Right) Ceragem is taking the initiative fulfilling social responsibility. Ceragem is delivering scholarship fund to the Government of People's Republic of Yanji in China.

[2013년 9월 7일~11일]

역대 최대 중소중견기업인 경제사절단 참여‘쩌우 까우’ 진정한 친구로 나라로 손 맞잡은 베트남

For the visit to Vietnam, President Park Geun-hye organized the largest scale of the economic mission group. A total of 79 business people (8 more than the China mission) and the major government officials participated in Vietnam mission. Especially, 61% of business mission members were selected from the small and medium sized companies, which showed a “practical outcome” was more considered than the just a “protocol event” with the large companies.

베트남 이미지

(Left) Vietnam Economic Mission Group attending the dinner meeting for the Vietnam-Korea Economic Cooperation invited by President Park Geun-hye.
(Right)Vietnam-Korea Economic Cooperation meeting to seek measures of increasing investment in Vietnam

The economic mission group attended the “Vietnam-Korea Economic Cooperation Meeting” hosted by the government and the Chamber of Commerce of the two countries and they sought the measures for the economic cooperation. The meeting was very active and practical. The Korean companies and the Vietnamese government discussed various problems and solutions during the meeting such as business improvement measures and the solution for the problems doing business in Vietnam. In addition the Korean business members had an opportunity to share the information of the Vietnam market and establish the network during the visit.

베트남 이미지

(Left) Ceragem Chairman Lee Whan-seong attended the Vietnam-Korea Economic Cooperation Meeting
(Right)Ceragem Chairman Lee Whan-seong attended luncheon meeting with Bui Quang Vinh of the Minister of Planning & Investment of Vietnam

Especially, the Vietnamese government treated the Korean economic mission group with exceptional respect. For example, the Vietnamese government invited all mission members to the banquet breaking the diplomacy protocol which invites a few selected guests usually. This was assuring that Vietnam and Korea as a trust partnership for the new future. The Vietnamese press described the Vietnamese diplomacy as “Trau cau” figuratively. “Trau cau” is the name of the food that is “cau” fruit wrapped with “Trau” leaf. To the Vietnamese, this food means a beginning of the new story, pledge of friendship and the beginning of love. Using that expression in the diplomacy represents that Vietnam accepted Korea as a welcoming guest and a true friend.

The visit to Vietnam increased the trade scale between the two countries to 70 billion dollars by 2020 and brought the new growth momentum in agreement with the government policy benefitting the both large companies as well as small & medium sized companies. During the visit, Korean companies received big attention from the Vietnamese media. Ceragem Chairman Lee Whan-seong had interviews with The Law Times and Info TV. During the interviews Chairman Lee introduced the Ceragem products, expressed the opinion about health and environment as well as provided the expansion plan of Ceragem centers in Vietnam.

베트남 이미지

(Left) Ceragem Chairman Lee Whan-seong having interview with Vietnamese National Broadcasting Station, Info TV (Center) Ceragem Chairman Lee Whan-seong on Info TV (Right) Vietnamese "The Law Times" gave big coverage to Ceragem

Since the start of the business in Vietnam in 2008, Ceragem has been playing a role as a bridge between the two countries for mutual growth. Currently 30 Ceragem centers are open in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Ceragem is growing continuously based on the localization of Ceragem’s specialized marketing strategy and high brand recognition among the Vietnamese customers. Currently the number of customers visiting the center a day is 500 in average. Ceragem is planning to increase the customer service this year and focus on promoting the health of Vietnamese by meeting customer needs.

[2014년 1월 15일~18일]

기회의 땅에서 새로운 성장 엔진을 발견하다 아시아의 세기를 함께 열어 갈 전략적 파트너, 인도

President Park Geun-hye’s sales diplomacy radiated the most in India, the largest democracy country in the world and huge market having a 1.2 billion population. India is holding high international reputation in the field of high-tech such as IT and aero space industry. Considering that, India is Korea’s core cooperation partner to realize creative economy.

인도 이미지

(Left) The presidents of Korea and India taking a photo before India-Korea summit
(Right) President Park Geun-hye and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the India-Korea summit

President Park Geun-hye chose India as the first foreign country for the diplomatic visit. During the visit from January 15th through January 18th, President Park strengthened the partnership between the two countries at multiple levels. For this trip to India, 70 economic mission members including Ceragem Chairman Lee Whan-seong accompanied the president.

인도 이미지

Luncheon meeting for India-Korea Economic Cooperation Forum

The economic mission group attended the “India-Korea Economic Cooperation Forum” and they sought measures to expand the investment in the two countries. The economic mission group took the initiative in expanding the economic cooperation at the private sector and played a significant role to broaden the foundation of entry to the Indian market which has a 1.2 billion population.

Last year, marking the 40th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations, India and Korea set the growth direction for both countries for the next 40 years. India and Korea agreed to improve Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) effective from 2010 and revise Double Tax Avoidance Agreement as an actual cooperation reinforcement measure to improve the “strategic partnership” between the two countries. From this economic mission visit, Korea achieved a big economic outcome befitting Korea such as broadening the base for the Korean companies to enter the Indian market as well as resolving the difficulties doing business in India. ,

인도 이미지

(Left) Indian customers waiting in line to try Ceragem product
(Right) Outstanding global distributors from India visiting Ceragem Korea Headquarters

India, the country called the land of the new opportunity, is known as well as “the country of having thousand faces” due to the ethnic and cultural diversity having 28 states with 15 official languages, various different religions, big gap between the rich and poor and the status system handed down for thousands of years. Although India is the big country where 1/6 of world population are living in this land, the medical welfare infrastructure is not equipped well so the Ceragem centers are always full of Indian customers. Currently Ceragem India corporate office is growing the fastest out of 70 Ceragem overseas cooperate offices since its start in 2008. Ceragem India is striving to become the most successful overseas corporate office hoping to renew the current record. There are 300 Ceragem centers in operation in India however encouraged by “Ceragem Fever” blowing in India, this year Ceragem India is planning to increase the centers to double. With the increase of the centers, the centers will provide the cultural education that can deliver Ceragem’s unique value to Indian customers with the consideration of various local cultures and customs by the religion and provinces. Indian market being drawing attention for its potential as big as China market keeps growing big.

The Ceragem India hit the record in producing the largest number of the outstanding distributors. So about 100 outstanding distributors from India were invited to the global distributor conference held in the Korea Headquarters. Ceragem Chairman Lee Whan-seong said at the interview with the Indian media, “India is considered as a difficult country to do business however Ceragam was able to achieve a success with the consistent trial marketing and customer’s trust. Ceragem will continue existing business and seek a new opportunity as well to grow as a representative Korean company highly recognized in India.”

인도 이미지

(Left) Ceragem introduced to the major media in India such as Business Standard, Financial express and Mail Today
(Right) Ceragem Chairman Lee Whan-seong on YTN

[2014년 3월 25일~28일]

창조 경제의 핵심, 강소기업의 나라에서 제2 도약의 지혜를 발견하다 세계 최강 ‘히든 챔피언’ 왕국, 유럽경제의 기관차 독일

President Park Geun-hye’s the 11th visiting country so far and the 4th visiting country this year is Germany. The visit to Germany drew attention from the beginning due to the largest economic mission group (total 105 business members) accompanied the president. This showed President Park, Geun-hye’s strong will to realize the creative economy. The president paid attention to the small and medium sized companies who are backing up the economy of Germany strongly.

인도 이미지

(Left) President Park Geun-hye taking photos after the summit with Prime Minister Angela Merkel and before the press conference (Right) Luncheon for Germany-Korea Businessmen

Germany and Korea have many similarities in many ways. Not only that the two countries have the experience of the divided country but the aspect of economic growth based on manufacturing industry and the scale of domestic market are very similar. Further as a defeated country from the World War, Germany experienced a huge turbulence from the result of war, division of country and reunification of the country. However, Germany overcame the difficulties and now it has a strong economic power playing an important role for the economy of the entire Europe. The key of the success of Germany and the difference from the growth of the other advanced countries is that lots of small and medium sized companies, the “Hidden Champions” are the driving force for the economic growth of Germany.

Those companies’ products take the highest market share in the global market but they are not known well to the general public. Korea achieved the miracle of Han River with diligence and sincerity in the past, but now it is time for the 2nd economic take off taking the example from “German style small but strong company (Hidden Champion)”. The main purpose of the visit to Germany was to benchmark their success to accomplish this task. The remarkable economic outcome was generated from this visit. The two countries agreed to increase the exchange among the Hidden Champions and collaborate in the business project.

Especially, the “Germany-Korean Hidden Champion Conference” held on 27 (local time) presented lots of messages and the possibility of improvement to the Korean companies. This conference was prepared by the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business with the support from Korea Exchange Bank, Indusial Bank of Korea, Korea Trade Insurance Corporation and BVMW (Bundesverband mittelstandische Wirtschaft) to establish the network base for Korean small and medium businesses to enter German market and to provide the opportunity of benchmarking German Hidden Champions.

인도 이미지

(Left) Ceragem Chairman Lee Whan-seong attended Germany-Korea Hidden Champion Conference (Right) "Germany-Korea Hidden Champion Conference" to seek measures to cultivate "Global Hidden Champion"

At this conference, many important guests attended and had a discussion on the measures to nurture Korean small and medium businesses to make the global Hidden Champions. From Korea, Yoon Sang-jik, the Minister of Trade, Industry & Energy and Cho, Won-dong, Senior Secretary to the President for Economic Affairs attended this event with 70 business members from the small and medium companies. From Germany, 38 businessmen representing German Hidden Champion and the Chairman of BVMW, Mario Ohoven attended the conference. The Korean members from the small and medium businesses agreed that Korean small and medium businesses need to pursue a globalization like the German companies by utilizing the strength of Korean companies. In addition, they agreed that the “small giants” should grow as a new growth engine and core driving force of the Korean economy.

인도 이미지

(Left) View of Ceragem Germany Corporate Center (Center) German customers experiencing Ceragem products at the center (Right)Ceragem Europe distributors Seminar

Ceragem started the business in Germany in 2002 with the expectation of success in Germany and Europe with Ceragem’s high quality products and the impressive customer service. However, free trial service concept was difficult for the Germans to accept and further it gave them negative image. The reason was that in Germany, everything is charged even using a toilet and a glass of water at the restaurant, so free service was strange thing. Besides the Germans have a strong pride in the German products, so it was never easy for them to trust the unfamiliar oriental product.

인도 이미지

(Left) Ceragem's thermal massager introduced to Berlin NDR (Right) Ceragem center introduced to German weekly magazine DIE ZEIT

Due to this unexpected customer response, Ceragem changed its marketing strategy quickly. The new marketing direction was to earn the trust from the German customers first, not the emotional approach. Ceragem put the fact first that the Ceragem’s products were approved by CE, GS and FDA instead of emphasizing the principal of eastern medicine and alternative medicine.

Also, Ceragem provided a class about the importance of health management. This kind of logical marketing approach started to build the trust among the German customers. Another obstacle was a language barrier while gaining a positive customer response even. The problem was caused by the increased foreign customers from the neighboring countries. To solve the problem, Ceragem hired many local employees who have translation ability for the smooth communication. Ceragem implemented a systematic education program for the local employees to be able to provide the Korean style customer service and to expand Ceragem marketing with the emotional approach. Many people in Europe have depression due to the low atmospheric pressure and overcast weather and lonesome feeling from the individualism culture. So the warmth that Ceragem intended to deliver started to percolate through the local customers deeply. .

From 2004, after 2 years of doing business by overcoming the difficulties, many in German media such as Berlin “NDR” and Frankfurt “HR” and weekly magazine “DIE ZEIT” began to pay attention to Ceragem. The tremendous popularity in Germany affected other neighboring countries. This became a detonator enabled Ceragem to enter many European countries such as France, UK and Switzerland. Ceragem Germany Corporate Office is trying to satisfy the customer needs by increasing 20 more centers in addition to 19 centers currently being operated.

Also, Ceragem will introduce “Home Experience” service as a new marketing strategy. Ceragem plans to operate the service programs with the two track methods. The key plan is to obtain the recognition from the customers by obtaining competitiveness through the constant product development and to grow continuously by spreading Ceragem’s health philosophy. Ceragem’s growth will be continued until the day that Ceragem becomes a global “Hidden Champion” in the thermal massager market.

[2014년 6월 16일~20일]

제2의 실크로드 향한 협력 및 다짐 중앙아이시아(우즈베키스탄/카자흐스탄)

The Eurasian Continent is the largest single continent in the world with about 71% of the world population and spreading in 12 time zones from the eastern end to the western end. Eurasia was the cradle of the ancient civilization in the long history of the human beings and took the initiative in advancing the human civilization by exchange and cooperation activities through Silk Road. In the past, the Eurasian Continent was advanced to the space of ‘Communication, Opening, Creativity and Convergence’ through the exchange and convergence of civilization delivering the calendar of the western world to the eastern world. Korean Peninsular was the starting point on the eastern size of Eurasian Road.

중앙아시아 이미지

(Left) President Park Geun-hye in the Meeting with the Koreans in Kazakhstan and Children Welcoming the President Park.
(Right) President Park Geun-hye Proposing a Toast in the Meeting with the Koreans in Kazakhstan

The President Park Geun-Hye acknowledged that ‘Construction of New Eurasia’ must be the feasible goal in the keynote address in Eurasia Conference. The transportation infrastructure through the borders among countries will enable to reduce shipping expenses and use energy, mineral resources and farm produces more effectively. New Eurasia will provide the opportunity of employment and new investment for us and play the role as the continent to lead the next generation.

For realizing the Eurasia Initiative, the second Silk Road, the President Park pledged to develop the potentiality of cooperation by opening the new channel for communication in Eurasia. Central Asia was the center of Silk Road in the past and will be the very critical partner for implementation of ‘Eurasia Initiative’, the diplomatic policy of Korea. Thus, the trip of the President Park with the Economic Mission was so important.

중앙아시아 이미지

((Left) President Park Geun-hye(middle) Making a Greeting in Korea-Uzbekistan Business Forum (Right) Chairman Lee Hwan-seong, Ceragem in the Forum.

Uzbekistan is the largest trade partner(USD 2 billion in 2013) of Korea in many countries in Central Asia where the highest number of Koreans have been living. The trade between Korea and Uzbekistan was just USD 3 million when the diplomatic relation was established and exceeded USD 2 billion Won in 2013, 600 times as many as the first year when the diplomatic relation was established in just 20 years. At present, Uzbekistan became the largest trade partner of Korea in a number of countries in Central Asia.

In the summit, the President Park said, “we agreed to develop the friendly relationship more than ever. The joint statement today will be the blueprint to substantiate the strategic partnership between both countries and specify the practical approaches for cooperation in various fields.”

The President Park emphasized that trade was also one of the important fields for cooperation between both countries and that the investment cooperation between both countries would significantly develop when the investment plans of Korean enterprises including large-scale resource development and investment on construction infrastructure would be successfully applied to the attractive investment environment and financial support of Uzbekistan.

In this context, the President Park welcomed the MOU for investment cooperation between Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in Korea and Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and investments of Uzbekistan and the agreement on the increase of loan business between Korea Exim Bank and Bank of Uzbekistan.

중앙아시아 이미지

‘Joint Statement to Develop and Intensify the Strategic Partnership between Korea and Uzbekistan’

The agreement was to continuously expand the trade by progressively using the complementary economic structure of both countries related to the strategic partnership between both countries. Since Eurasia Initiative by Korean government is the same as the goal of Uzbekistan government, both countries can strengthen their strategic partnership through the close cooperation.

Meanwhile, the chairman Lee Hwan-Seong of Ceragem participated in Korea-Uzbekistan Business Forum as a member of Economic Mission. About 400 people in political and financial world in both countries participated in the forum. A variety of business related MOUs were established between governmental organizations and enterprises in both countries. The participants discussed the cooperation approaches in diverse fields.

중앙아시아 이미지

(Left, Right) Chairman Lee Hwan-Seong of Ceragem and Director of Corporation in Kazakhstan in Korea-Kazakhstan Business Forum

Kazakhstan is the largest investment partner of Korea in a number of countries in Central Asia. About 250 Korean enterprises have been deploying businesses there. Kazakhstan has been implementing the economic development project of USD 10 billion in energy, resource and infrastructure field with Korea. Kazakhstan has the potential for more cooperation.

Both countries established the visa exemption agreement for general passports for activating cooperation and human and cultural exchange including the cooperation for modernization project of Kazakhstan Railroad through Railroad Cooperation MOU established during the visit of Present Park.

Kazakhstan achieved the remarkable economic development by walking into the international society after voluntarily giving up the nuclear weapons. It has been progressively devoting itself to inhibit nuclear development. The President Park acknowledged the support of the President Nazarbayev on Dresden Initiative and confirmed the wills of the President Nazarbayev who opposite the nuclear development of North Korea. Furthermore, the President Park said that she supported Kazakhstan to join WTO.

The President Nazarbayev emphasized that Kazakhstan would be the important partner of Korea supporting the policies and economic cooperation of Korean government, ‘expansion of cooperation in Eurasia’ and ‘diplomacy in Central Asia for mutual prosperity and cooperation’.

중앙아시아 이미지

(Left) Summit Meeting of President Park Geun=hye and President Nazarbayev (Right) President Park Geun-hye and President Nazarbayev in Joint News Conference to Celebrate the Korea-Kazakhstan Summit Meeting

The most remarkable achievement in this trip was the support for activities of Korean enterprises in Central Asia. In particular, Kazakhstan established the power purchase agreement generated in Balkhash Power Plant whose equity was mostly held by Korean enterprises. MOU for construction of new plant was established during the first state visit to Turkmenistan. The foundation for the penetration of Korean enterprises was prepared.

The President Park emphasized, “’2050 Strategy’, the national modernization plan of Kazakhstan, has something in common with Creative Competition pursued by Korea. So it is important to explore the future together.”

Most countries in Eurasia consider the creativity of the public as the key to generate the new driving force for growth and devote themselves for economic innovation based on such creativity. We have to explore new businesses to realize the Eurasia Initiative for ‘One Continent’, ‘Creativity Continent’ and ‘Peace Continent’ as well as try to induce the potentials for cooperation by opening the channel for new communication in Eurasia.

With the tremendous effort for business cooperation to realize the Eurasia Initiative, Ceragem established the Kazakhstan branch in May 2006 and has been managing the center around Almaty and Astana. Ceragem has been continuously growing through the specialized experience marketing for realizing customers’ impression in Kazakhstan.

The Chairman Lee Hwan-Seong of Ceragem was the only member selected in medical device manufacturing industry for the trip of the President Park to Central Asia. He said, “Ceragem will play the role to expand the foundation to enter into the markets in Central Asia for the Korean enterprises as the stepping stone of Eurasia Initiative for mutual growth in Central Asia.” He acknowledged that Ceragem would be the representative medical device manufacturer of Korea in Central Asia by ceaselessly trying to find out the new opportunity as well as strengthening the existing businesses.

[2015년 4월 18일~26일]

기회의 대륙 중남미(콜롬비아, 페루, 칠레, 브라질) 지구 반대편까지 확대해 가는 우리 경제 영역

President Park Geun-hye’s tour to Central and South America accompanying the economic mission group recorded the biggest in scale. As the role of the business leaders in the mission group increases, the expectation from the industry is increasing accordingly. President Park visited Peru, Chile and Colombia during this tour. These countries are very important for the economy of Central and South America: the population and GDP of those 3 countries accounts for one half of the population and GDP in the entire Central and South America region.

Especially, with stable economic growth in that region, the middle class increased to 41% compared to year 2010; the demand for high-value products and services such as automobiles, communication and medicine is also increasing rapidly in this region. Central and South America are the important emerging markets together with Asia.

중남미 이미지

(Left) President Park Geun-hye in a meeting with Koreans in Columbia and children welcoming the President. (Right) President Park Geun-hye giving a brief speech in the meeting with Koreans in Columbia

Korea made a FTA with Chile and Peru out of 3 countries on tour. Currently, the National Assembly is preparing the ratification procedure for a FTA with Columbia.

중남미 이미지

(Left) President Park Geun-hye giving a brief speech in Korea-Chile Business Forum (Middle) CEO Lee Hwan-seong, CERAGEM in the forum
(Right) President Park Geun-hye giving a brief speech in Korea-Peru Business Forum

Through this tour, Korea tried to expand the trade areas of the countries in Central and South America that are currently focused on the industries of automobile and electronics. During the tour, the officials and business leaders discussed the idea to diversify the trading areas into information & communication technology, healthcare and energy industry based on the cultural understanding through spreading of Korean Wave.

중남미 이미지

'MOU Signing Ceremony of President Park Geun-hye of ROK and President Ollanta Humala of Peru’

In order to diversify the trading areas, Korea focused on the expansion of the trading foundation; signed MOU with the local distribution companies and the associations to support Korean companies’ on-line business launching in Central and South America. In addition, Korea supported the establishment of the e-trading custom clearance system to help Korean companies reduce cost and processing time of trading. In addition, Korea established the foothold for Korea’s young manpower to enter the market of Central and South America through signing the agreement for a Working Holiday Visa, the MOU for the global business start-up and the MOU for exchanging skilled manpower.

A total of 125 companies accompanied the president as the economic mission group for this tour. The scale of the company’s participation in the economic mission tour to Central and South America was the biggest compared to the previous tours: 10 more companies participated in this tour compared to the one to the Middle East. Especially, the participation of the small and medium sized companies (78 companies) increased in this tour. The participation rate of those small and medium sized companies accounted for 62% out of the entire companies in the mission group showing a 9% increase from the previous tour to the Middle East (51%).

중남미 이미지

(Left) President Park Geun-hye giving a brief speech in Korea-Peru Business Forum (Middle/Right) CEO Lee Hwan-seong, CERAGEM in the forum

On the other hand, Ceragem has been pursuing the localization in operating business in South America region since business launching in 2008. Ceragem, in addition to employing the local residents, has been putting an effort to promote Korean culture and complementary medicine; targeting the local residents to promote the Ceragem products in harmony with the local atmosphere. As a result of the effort, currently Ceragem is successfully operating 50 Ceragem Centers in the region.

Ceragem Chairman Lee Whan-seong joined the economic mission tour to Central and South America as well. This is his 6th time participating in the economic mission tour. Chairman Lee made a request for an active cooperation for the Korean companies in business in Central and South American region at the official dinner hosted by the President of Columbia, Juan Manuel Santos and the President of Peru, Ollanta Humala.

중남미 이미지

(Left) Letter of Invitation to the State Banquet from the President of Columbia (Middle/Right) Letter of Invitation to the State Banquet from the President of Peru and President Park Geun-hye in the State Banquet

He said, ”Korea and the countries in Central and South America should diversify business areas into the mutual investment, technology cooperation and strategic partnership exceeding a simple trading.” In addition, Chairman Lee visited the Ceragem Center of Central & South America and encouraged the employees. He expressed his appreciation for the employees’ outstanding achievement playing a role as a private diplomat and a bridge connecting Korea and Central and South America overcoming the difficult business environment.

중남미 이미지

(Left/Right) CEO Lee Hwan-seong Encouraging Officers and Employees in Central and South America Center of CERAGEM

[April 2~5, 2016]

'Dream and Try to Achieve It' 'Amigo to Open Future Together' Mexico

Mexico is Korea’s trading partner in the complementary and cooperative relationship. Mexico is the second biggest trading market after Brazil having abundant mineral resource and cheap labor. To secure the important Mexico and Central & South America market, the large scale of the enterprise group accompanied President Park on a trade mission to Mexico. This was the biggest scale of trade mission group ever sent to Mexico.

Mexico img

(left, right) President Park Geun-hye participating in the meeting with Korean-Mexican

This visit to Mexico is significant in the aspect of completion of the “Economic Diplomacy Band in the Pacific Rim”. As an extension of the trade promotional visit to the important Pacific region (South America) countries such as Columbia, Peru and Chile, visiting to Mexico reflects Korean government’s strong will to promote the economic cooperation between Central and South America.

Mexico is a vast market that already established Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the FTA network with 45 countries. Earlier on Korean corporates have been paying attention to Mexico as a bridgehead to enter the market in the North America and Central & South America. Mexico has been drawing attention by innovating trade regulations and implementing the policy to attract foreign investments as well as to improve Mexico’s competitiveness since the inauguration of President Enrique Pena Nieto in 2012. The Financial Times called Mexico an “Aztec Tiger” as Mexico has been imprinting its dynamic image as a production base on the world.

Mexico img

(left, center) President Park, Geun-hye and trade mission group participating in Korea-Mexico Business Forum  
(right) Ceragem Chairman Lee, Hwan-seong participating in Korea-Mexico Business Forum

Through the Korean-Mexico Summit, President Park, Geun-hye put an effort to prepare the base to improve Korea’s various new growth engines including expansion of the high value-added industry, infrastructure and the cultural industry. Both countries established the biggest scale economic cooperation from this Mexico trade mission. Thirty four MOUs were signed in various fields including e-commerce, healthcare, transportation infrastructure, finance, security and the creative cultural industry. A trade mission team consisted of a total 144 corporates including 95 small and medium sized corporates sought business opportunities in Mexico and American Market through the business forums and one on one business consulting with the companies. Above all outcomes, the biggest outcome is to reopen the FTA negotiation between Korea and Mexico after an 8-year hiatus.

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(left, wright) President of Korea and Mexico with the representatives are signing a MOU for economic cooperation.

If Korea-Mexico FTA is successfully agreed, it is expected for Korea to expand the economic domain bigger than before (currently 74.6%). This will make a way out for Korea’s major export items experiencing the difficulties due to high import tax. The Korea-Mexico FTA is expected to help Korean enterprises expand business to overseas markets and prepare global competitiveness.

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President of Korea and President Mexico in a press conference at the Palace of President in Mexico City

Global healthcare company Ceragem has been running business in Mexico for 12 years since 2004. Currently Ceragem is running 56 Ceragem Centers in Mexico. Ceragem Chairman Lee, Whan-seong encouraged the local staff and employees who have been a bridge connecting two countries economically and culturally despite the difficult environment. Chairman Lee appreciated their effort saying, “Excellent employees like all of you made a current Ceragem and all of you will make a future Ceragem also.”

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(left, right) Ceragem Chairman Lee, Whan-seong is visiting and encouraging employees in Mexico Center.

Mexico was the starting point for spreading the Korean cultural wave in the region of Central and South America in the early 2000s. From this Mexico tour, Korea verified the existing popularity of Korean cultural in Mexico once again and the opportunity to gain a momentum to improve a creative cultural industry in both countries. Korean culture is very popular in the region of Central and South America including Mexico. It is said that over 2 million Mexicans are learning the Korean traditional martial art Taekwondo. The Korean culture performance is also very popular. On this tour, a computer site crashed for buying ticket for a Korean culture show scheduled to perform at the concert hall accommodating an audience of 3,200.

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(left, center) Korean Pop group’s performance and Taekwondo performance (right) President Park, Geun is greeting on the stage.

Both countries agreed to cooperate more on improving the creative cultural industry. With that Korea’s cultural domain is to expand more allowing more people to enjoy Korean culture together globally.

Central and South America market including Mexico will be a blue ocean that creates new value-added industry and promote Korea’s cultural industry in the bigger market.

Asquoted from the poem of the Mexican poet Octavio Paz, “Dream and Try to Achieve it”, if Mexico and Korea try to achieve the dream to improve economics and culture for both countries, it will improve the nations’ status one step higher eventually. This Mexico tour enhanced the friendship between Mexico and Korea as an Amigo to open the prosperous future together by overcoming geographical constraints.