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Weifang has been a key area of many dynasties or regimes since residents started living in the river water area from some 7,000 years ago

Coexistence of Tradition and Modernity

31 August 2016 - 11:30am
Choi Mun-hee

When we, the Korean press delegation, arrived at Weifang on June 26, it was already past noon. We unpacked our bags at the hotel and attended the lunch banquet hosted immediately by Ding Hanbang, vice head of the Weifang municipal publicity department. Speaking of a lunch dish made with radish, the vice head bragged that the peel of radish from the city tastes better than apple. When he said that about 10 percent of China’s radish comes from Weifang, I thought the city must be a traditional agrotown.

I felt more confident in the idea after I visited kite manufacturing factories in...

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The container terminal in Yantai port handled around 200,000 TEUs in relation with South Korea last year, showing a 10% increase year on year up to now this year.

Foothold of ‘One Belt, One Road’

27 July 2016 - 1:30pm
Jack H. Park

With a heavy rain pouring down, the Korean press delegation visited the Yantai China-South Korea Industrial Park in Yantai City located in Shandong Province, China, on June 23. There were plenty billboards lining the roads around the park, which read “Choose Yantai, Way Forward for the Future” and “Cross Park Development in Two Nations, Growth through Strategic Partnership.”

As a port city in Shandong province, Yantai has stressed the connection between China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative and Korea’s Eurasia Initiative, focusing on the attraction of Korean firms. The China-South...

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Pharmaceutical R&D Investment

4 July 2016 - 2:45pm

“Innovative” has become a trite descriptor, since marketing departments of pharmaceutical companies plaster the word everywhere. So who is actually investing the most in research and development?

Last year, the share of R&D spending against sales revenue among the top 10 pharmaceutical companies posted double digits.

According to the 2015 R&D report submitted by the top 10 pharmaceutical companies by sales in Korea, the average percentage of R&D expenditures against the sales revenue of these companies recorded 10.46 percent.

It turns out that, last year,...

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Hanmi Pharmaceutical R&D Investment

4 July 2016 - 2:00pm

Hanmi Pharmaceutical (Hanmi), which recently surprised the nation's pharmaceutical market with a series of blockbuster licensing deals valued at 8 trillion won (US$6.42 million), pledged to step up R&D efforts, CEO Lee Gwan-sun said during a press conference in March

Lee attributed the last year’s success through licensing deals with multinational pharmaceutical companies to Hanmi Pharmaceutical's persistent investment in the  R&D sector.

"Nearly 15 percent of the company's total sales revenue is reinvested in the company's R&D for the past 15 years. Such a ratio...

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Biotech Investment

31 March 2016 - 4:45pm
Jung Suk-yee

As investors are recently growing more and more interested in the biotechnology industry worldwide, not only listed companies but also unlisted ones are attracting much investment.

Since biotechnology firms need to focus on research and development for a long time, they have difficulties accomplishing their sales goals, and suffer a huge operating loss. Thus, the Small and Medium Enterprise Establishment Investment Association has been the major investor in the industry, in particular, for small and medium companies.

According to the data released by Korean Venture Capital...

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This price competition has been caused by E-Mart to strengthen its online business against a social commerce Coupang

Price War in Distribution Industry

29 March 2016 - 11:45am
Jung Min-hee

After the intense competition between online and offline companies, there is another price war between online and offline retailers lately. As a sense of crisis is spreading among existing offline companies due to the rapid growth of online retail firms, the nation’s largest large retailers, such as E-Mart and Lotte Mart, declared a price war in some products, saying, “(It is) cheaper than in social commerce websites.”

This price competition has been caused by the marketing effort of E-Mart to strengthen its online business. The company seeks to secure customers in their 20s and 30s...

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The headquarters building of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in Sejong City, South Korea. Inset: Lee Gyu-bong, secretary of the Smart Factory Division at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Interview with Secretary Lee Gyu-bong

23 November 2015 - 3:30pm

Business Korea met with Lee Gyu-bong, the Secretary of the Smart Factory Division at the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy. In charge of designing policies relating to smart factories, he is a leading figure in Korean government policy on smart factories. During the interview, we discussed Innovation in Manufacturing 3.0, the Korean version of Industry 4.0, and the challenges surrounding creating a new paradigm of manufacturing.

Although Korea is recognized as a manufacturing powerhouse, recently the country ranked 17th out...

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From left: Chairman of the Korea Employers Federation Bahk Byong-won, Chairman of Economic and Social Development Commission Kim Dae-hwan, President of the FKTU Kim Dong-man, and Minister of Employment and Labor, Lee Ki-kweon (right) on Sept. 13.

Wage Peak Misgivings

23 October 2015 - 4:15pm

On Sept. 13, a tripartite commission consisting of Minister of Employment and Labor Lee Ki-kweon representing the government, Chairman of the Korea Employers Federation Bahk Byong-won representing business, and President of the FKTU Kim Dong-man representing labor reached an agreement on labor reform. The key point of the agreement was the wage peak system. It was first time that the Korean political scene saw a similar feat since the 1998 financial crisis. With the extension of the retirement age to 60 taking effect in companies with more than 300 employees in 2016 and less than 300...

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Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism International Tourism Division Director Kim Geun-ho.

Tourist-friendly Policies

3 September 2015 - 4:15pm

Kim Geun-ho is the director of the International Tourism Division at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Business Korea spoke with him during these days of decreased tourism income to ask about what his division was doing to return to the status growth of tourism growth. His answers provided insights into a future where Korea sees 20 million tourists, or more, each year.

How many tourists visited Korea last year, and how do you estimate its economic ripple effects?


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Korean Culture and Information Service Directory Park Young-kuk.

Raising Korean Awareness

3 September 2015 - 4:00pm

Business Korea was able to sit down with Park Young-kuk, the director of the Korean Culture and Information Service, to speak about his organization, programs that they have run, and the idea of publicizing Korean arts and traditions to non-Koreans who already live in the country. What follows are excerpts from the interview.

Would you briefly sketch out the Korean Culture and Information Service?

The Korean Culture and Information Service was established in 1971 as an arm of the Korean government in charge of publicizing Korean culture and enhancing the...

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