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IBK Takes a Step Towards Building ‘Eurasia Belt’
Reentering Russian Market in 6 Years
IBK Takes a Step Towards Building ‘Eurasia Belt’
  • By Yoon Young-sil
  • November 22, 2018, 11:03
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Industrial Bank of Korea CEO Kim Do-jin (fifth from left) cuts the ribbon together with Natalia N. Vasilenko (fourth from left), vice chairman of the Central Bank of Russian Federation, and other well-wishers at an office opening ceremony in Vladivostok, Russia, Nov. 20.

Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) has reentered Russia in six years, taking a step closer towards completing its “Eurasia Belt” vision.

The state-run bank announced on Nov. 21 that it has opened its representative office in Vladivostok, Russia. The bank is planning to support Korean small and mid-sized companies that operate in Russia through the office, which will also serve as a beachhead for the bank's foray into the Russian market.

The Far East Russian region, where Vladivostok is located, has high growth potential as it connects the South Korean government’s New Northern Policy and the Russian government’s New East Asia Development Policy.

The IBK has pushed into the Russian market in six years after it closed down its office in Moscow in 2012. With the opening of the new office, the bank has gained a foothold to complete the Eurasia Belt that extends from the Far East Russia to Europe.

Previously, the IBK selected Poland as a new European base and established a partnership with PKO Bank, the largest bank in the nation, to open its representative office, putting efforts to enter the European market as well.

With the opening of the Vladivostok office, the IBK now operates 24 branches and 4 offices in major Asian countries, such as China and Vietnam. CEO Kim visited the bank’s overseas bases several times in order to strengthen the bank’s global business. He even visited Vladivostok during his summer vacation to open the Vladivostok office by the end of this year. At the opening ceremony, Kim said, “Opening the office in the Far East Russia is the meaningful first step toward the future. We will actively cooperate in economic cooperation projects between South Korea and Russia and help South Korean companies break into the Far East Russian market by promoting the potential of the local market.”