LA LETTRE DU KOTRA Octobre 2002 Centre Coréen du Commerce Extérieur et des Investissements

 

KOTRA PARIS - 36, avenue Hoche - 75008 Paris
Téléphone :  +33 (0) 142 25 09 57 - Télécopie : +33 (0) 142 25 09 50 - email : fckotra@hotmail.com  
M. Seong-Kuk Hong - Directeur Adjoint 
M. Frédéric Claveau -  Responsable Investissements
 
S O M M A I R E
 ¤ RELATIONS INTERNATIONALES ET BILATÉRALES
France, NK May Start Diplomatic Negotiations Soon
Seoul hopes for improvement in France-N.K. ties 
Corée : la politique du " Plein Soleil " en danger

 ¤ POLITIQUE ECONOMIQUE, MACRO-ECONOMIE ET RESTRUCTURATIONS
La fête du foot est finie
Korea : Asia's New Center for R&D

 ¤ LEGISLATION
Tout réussit aux Coréens qui portent un Vuitton… ou sa contrefaçon
Nouvelle législation sur l'installation et la gestion des équipements médicaux spécialisés

 ¤ SECTEURS ECONOMIQUES
     Management
Le patronnat sud-coréen résiste à la semaine de 5 jours
Local Firms Get Serious About Ethics Management
Public Communication Critical Part of Crisis Management
     Banque et Finance
KOTEC Head Calls for Risk Management System 
Industrie électronique : jeux, équipements médicaux
Korea's Game Industry Pioneer Goes Global 
Medison, le fabricant d'équipements médicaux, a mis au point son propre plan de sauvetage
     Agroalimentaire
Exportations de viande de porcs : Réouverture du marché coréen 
     Transport : automobiles, transports publics
Les voitures coréennes passent à l'offensive 
Le gouvernement coréen souhaite 8 lignes de métro de plus
     Energie
KOGAS Draws Attention of Foreign Investors
La Corée du Sud va construire 9 nouvelles centrales électriques

 ¤ ENTREPRISES COREENNES
Chaebol Lack in Strategic Flexibility in Building Future
Daewoo/GM approuvé par un tribunal sud-coréen 
Le plan de Samsung pour gagner la guerre des écrans
Samsung Semiconductor CEO: New products likely to include M-Systems technology
Samsung Electronics multiplie par 4 son bénéfice net au T3

 ¤ ENTREPRISES FRANÇAISES
Renault Samsung : building on the turnaround
Renault Samsung: A French Recipe to Savor
BNP Paribas Asset Management a signé un accord avec Shinhan Financial Group pour la création d'une 
     société commune dans la gestion d'actifs.
Carrefour Korea picks Exel for distribution centre logistics 
L'opérateur coréen Powercomm choisit la technologie optique SDH multiservice 
d'Alcatel pour étendre ses infrastructures de transmission
Giga Telecom choisit Wavecom pour équiper son nouveau téléphone portable 
Kolon discuss tie-up with Louis Vuitton
Samsung hooks up with Vivendi Water

FRANCE, NK MAY START DIPLOMATIC NEGOTIATIONS SOON - By Oh Young-jin

France and North Korea may start negotiations for the establishment of diplomatic ties soon, Seoul officials said yesterday.

Chong Wa Dae Spokeswoman Park Sun-sook said in a morning briefing that French President Jacques Chirac sent Kim a letter earlier this month, pledging his full support for Kim's ``Sunshine Policy'' of engaging North Korea and hinting at renewing efforts to establish diplomatic relations.

Chong Wa Dae's revelation of Chirac's letter came when a senior North Korean diplomat was making a low-profile visit to Europe. A Seoul official said that Choe Su-hun, vice foreign minister, was visiting Brussels to participate in a seminar regarding the security situation on the Korean peninsula.

``Choe, Pyongyang's specialist on European affairs, is in Europe now,'' the official said. ``We are not excluding the possibility that the two countries are sounding out each other on setting up relations through Choe.'' However, he didn't elaborate whether a meeting between Choe and French diplomats had been set up.

In response, Park said that Kim sent a letter expressing hope for ``tangible'' progress in relations between Paris and Pyongyang.

The establishment of ties between France and North Korea is expected to lend credibility to a series of recent moves made by Pyongyang to open itself up. South and North Korea are working to reconnect their severed cross-border railroads and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi recently made a historic visit to Pyongyang, while the North has introduced elements of a market economy, being capped by the designation of Shinuiju as ``open'' city.

All European countries, with the exception of France and Ireland, have established ties with Pyongyang following the Asia-Europe Meeting held in Seoul two years ago.

Officials here said that France was left behind in a European rush to improve relations with Pyongyang because of a negative public opinion of Pyongyang, which was spread by non-governmental organizations.

``France doesn't have outstanding issues that block it from setting up ties with Pyongyang,'' a South Korean official said. ``It may happen sooner rather than later.'' oh@koreatimes.co.kr - Source : Korea Times - 16/10/2002

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SEOUL HOPES FOR IMPROVEMENT IN FRANCE-N.K. TIES

France indicated that it is willing to improve relations with North Korea when President Jacque Chirac sent a letter to South Korean President Kim Dae-jung early this month, Seoul officials said yesterday.

"President Chirac told President Kim that France will become involved if positive movements on the Korean Peninsula take concrete shape," presidential spokeswoman Park Sun-sook said yesterday.

Chirac also reaffirmed French support for South Korea's engagement policy toward North Korea aimed at enticing the communist country out of diplomatic isolation, Park said.

The French president's letter was widely perceived as symbolic that France, one of the major member countries of the European Union (EU), may seek to forge diplomatic relations with North Korea.

Along with Ireland, France is the only EU member country without diplomatic links to North Korea. France has said it would consider normalizing relations with the North only when Pyongyang addresses international concerns about its threat of weapons of mass destruction and improves its poor human rights conditions.

But Seoul officials ruled out the possibility of an early establishment of diplomatic ties between Paris and Pyongyang.

"There are no new developments between the two countries in connection with normalizing relations," said a presidential official dealing with foreign affairs.

Some observers, however, said France might seek improvements of relations with North Korea given that the EU has promoted an engagement policy toward the North to increase its role in the Korean peace process.

In the letter, the French president also talked positively about President Kim's role in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) that was held in Denmark last month, in which a declaration for peace on the Korean Peninsula was adopted, according to spokeswoman Park.

President Kim sent a reply to Chirac appreciating French support for South Korea's policy toward the North and its ASEM proposals, including the construction of a Eurasian railway linking Europe and Asia, Park said.

Kim also expressed hope that "substantial" progress could be made in relations between Paris and Pyongyang, the spokeswoman said. (shinyb@koreaherald.co.kr By Shin Yong-bae - Source : Korea Herald - 17/10/2002

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COREE : LA POLITIQUE DU " PLEIN SOLEIL " EN DANGER

Si cet article vous intéresse, n'hésitez pas à nous en demandez une copie. Source : Le Figaro - 23/10/2002

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LA FETE DU FOOT EST FINIE

Que ce soit en termes d'image ou de résultats, l'industrie électronique coréenne est sortie victorieuse de la Coupe du monde de football. Les touristes étrangers se sont rués sur les produits numériques Samsung et LG, de qualité au moins égale mais jusqu'à 50 % moins chers que les marques nippones les plus prestigieuses. Les centres commerciaux Lotte, par exemple, ont ainsi enregistré une augmentation de 200 % de leurs ventes dans ce secteur par rapport à juin 2001. Les ventes de téléviseurs à écran plasma et à vidéoprojection de Samsung Electronics aux Coréens passionnés de football se sont accrues de 250 et 300 % pendant le mois de mai.

Le bilan touristique de la compétition est, lui, moins heureux. Au départ, les autorités avaient prévu 700 000 touristes supplémentaires pour l'événement. Elles ont ensuite ramené leurs estimations à 360 000 personnes.

Peu de touristes :

Finalement, il n'est pas venu plus de touristes qu'au cours d'une année normale. Les grands hôtels ont même vu leur taux d'occupation diminuer d'environ 20 %. Seule consolation : jamais autant de non-Américains ont visité la péninsule en août - Tristan de Bourbon

Source : Le point 11/10/02

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KOREA : ASIA'S NEW CENTER FOR R&D

Multinationals are increasingly finding that the best place in Asia to locate their R&D facilities is Korea. Anxious to advance its Hub Korea project, the Korean government is going all out to encourage the trend

Capitalizing on assets such as a highquality human resource base and a well-developed industrial structure, Korea is increasingly becoming a destination for the research and development (R&D) centers of multinational corporations.

This recent spate of foreign corporate involvement in Korea is quite different from what has occurred in the past. Previously, locating foreign corporates sought mainly to build marketing networks while gearing up to foray into other overseas markets such as Southeast Asia and China, in particular. In sum, their focus was on manufacturing and marketing, rather than R&D.

TaeguTec, a manufacturer of cutting tools now wholly owned by Iscar of Israel opened in November 1982 as Korea¡¯s first foreign-owned R&D center. The number of such Centers grew to 475 as of the end of 1999, or 9.9 percent of the 4,810 national total of such institutes.

The foreign companies operating these centers reads like a Who¡¯s Who of the international corporate world.

They include Microsoft, Motorola, IBM, Dupont, 3M, Oracle, Honeywell, Dow Corning of the United States, Siemens, Bayer, Bosch, Basf of Germany, Volvo of Sweden, Nokia of Finland, Fuji Xerox of Japan and Mercury of Belgium. By specialty, 192 are in the electrical and electronics field; 117, machinery; 108, chemicals; 15, metals and non-metals; 12, textiles; 11, construction and services; and 10, food processing.

In the meantime, foreign investment into R&D as portion of the domestic private total of 10.13 trillion won in 1999 amounted to 2.5 trillion won or 24.7 percent. The number of R&D personnel employed by foreign-invested companies stood at 27,679, 22 percent of the 125,815 employed by the nation¡¯s privately run organizations . Other advantages of Korea that have acted as lures to foreign R&D activities include effective market access, lower production costs, investment incentives and deregulation.

GIVING THE BEST SERVICE On Aug. 30th, Merck Advanced Technology (MAT) Ltd., the Korean branch of Germany¡¯s Merck KGaA, opened its 12-billion won ($10 million) liquid crystal technology and production center in Korea at Poseung Industrial Complex in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province. The Center is the first of i ts kind in Korea. Merck, a pharmaceutical and chemical company with a 300-year history, now accounts for 60 percent of the Korean Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) market.

¡°Korea has emerged as the leader in Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCDs, used for monitors, notebooks and TVs,¡± said Merck president Werner Pfeifer. ¡°We therefore decided to set up a factory here with the goal of providing customer companies with the best service coupled with e ffective information exchange and a stable supply of materials.¡± Mr. Pfeifer went on to say that Merck would be able to contribute to the development of Korea¡¯s LCD industry by transferring key liquid crystal (LC) technology. The Poseung research center can provide some 30 tons of LC annually, meeting the needs of Korean manufacturers like Samsung Electronics, LG Philips LCD and Hyundai Display Technology Inc. (Hydis), a spin-off of Hynix Semiconductor Inc.

Don Desviens, executive vice president of Fairchild Semiconductor, the world¡¯s leading chipmaker in the field of power generation, recently announced the company would establish a global R&D center in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province. The company said the new center, named the ¡°Package Technology Knowledge Center,¡± will be responsible for offering new concept packaging solutions by promptly addressing the needs of some 50,000 customers through cooperation with the world¡¯s semiconductor packaging industry. The company plans to open the center by September next year.

Siemens of Germany, a general machinery maker with 100 trillion won ($83 billion) in annual turnover, also announced plans in June to build a R&D center on the Seoul Campus of Sogang University to research high-end ultrasonic medical systems for world markets.

Honeywell, a leading maker of automatic controllers, became the first American firm to move its global R&D center to Korea. Previously located in Minneapolis, the firm moved the Center to Cheonan City to develop sensors for automotive vehicles and industrial controllers. The Center presently has orders from 95 countries. The compan y ¡¯s Cheonan plant created a first for the Honeywell Group by developing automatic controlling technology vessels early this year. The factory also succeeded developing a 25x-zoom camera model for closed circuit (CC) TV and an automobile electrical equipment sensor.

GREATER PROUCTIVITY Swatch, set up its first after/service center outside Switzerland in Korea, upgrading its Korean branch from a mere sales agency to a local management corporation, staff e d by Swiss executives. Other companies have long recognized the potential Korea as a research base. For instance, mobile phone makers Motorola, Nokia and Qualcomm have set R&D headquarters or centers in Korea to better serve respond to the needs of the East Asian market. Clark, world¡¯s leading producer of forklifts, Lucent Bell Center and Cisco Systems are now expanding their existing centers in Korea. Nokia, one of Korea¡¯s major exporters set up ¡° R&D¡± in Korea in late 1999. It has since been developing code division multiple access (CDMA) products jointly with the Nokia manufacturing facility in San Diego. prepare for the continual development of mobile phone technology, Nokia has increased the number of R&D personnel at its Korean facility to 90.

Lucent Technologies Korea has focused on advancing next-wireless and next-generation optical communications transmittance technology since it set up the Korea Bell Research Institute in early 2000.

related to on-order semiconductors in Seoul at the end of 2000. The semiconductor technology is a key project of Cisco, which has only two institutes: one in the United States and the other in Korea.

Clark Material Handling of the United States, which advanced into Korea with the takeover of the forklift division of Samsung Heavy Industries in 1998 set up a global R&D and manufacturing center under the name Clark Material Handling Asia. In fact, the company moved its entire production and R&D capability from its U.S. headquarters to Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province.

¡°Productivity in Korea is twice or two-and-half times that in Europe and the U.S., respectively. So it¡¯s natural for a company to move its production base to an area where it can gain higher productivity,¡± said Kevin M. Reardon, president of the company in explaining the background to the move.

The reasons cited by foreign companies as to their preference for Korea as an R&D location are that the country is considered the hub of Northeast Asia, a close neighbor of the burgeoning market of China and has advanced country infrastructure facilities.

INVESTMENT IN EDUCATION ¡°There has been a recent trend whereby an increasing number of multinational companies have moved their R&D arms, previously located in the U.S. or Europe to Asia,¡± explained Choi Ki-soon of the Honeywell R&D center. ¡°Although Japan has technology, it requires high maintenance expenses and its market has remained depressed. China has a vast market but lacks infrastructure facilities and has low-quality human resources. Given this background, Korea has emerged as an attractive location on account of its various merits.¡±

In short, highly educated human resources and well developed infrastructure facilities in many areas such as information and technology (IT) have been the attractive points of Korea. No other country spends as much on private education as does Korea, more than $6 billion per year on average. Korea finishes top in terms of the proportion of children of attending middle and high schools and ranks second in terms of the number of university students per 10,000 of the population, second only to the United States. Its illiteracy rate remains the world¡¯s lowest. The number of researchers in Korea increased by 12 percent in 2001 to 178,937, translating to a ratio of 37.8 researchers per 10,000 of the population, ranking Korea at 17th position internationally and illustrating the country¡¯s excellent human resource base in R&D.

For instance, the Motorola Korea Design Center (MKDC), the largest of the multinational-run research centers in Korea, well demonstrates this capability. The Center is the hub of the company¡¯s CDMA project and is staffed by 250 researchers, of which 95 percent are Korean natives and obtained scholastic degrees at Korean universities. Less than 10 are foreign.

Motorola set up Korea¡¯s first foreign-invested semiconductor plant in Paju, Korea, in 1967 and operated it purely for purposes of production for over 30 years. However, a rise in production costs prompted Motorola to sell the factory in 1999 to Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE), which utilized the facility as a base for its R&D activities. As Korea was the first country to commercialize CDMA technology and indeed continues to be a global powerhouse in this regard, ASE judged Korea as the optimal location for a research center dedicated to this field.

GOING FOR HIGHER-VA LUE ADDED In this case, as in the case of Merck Advanced Technology, Korean capability in world-class technology linked to massive industrial purchasing power has been the key to attracting multinational R&D and production investment.

For similar reasons, 3M Korea, a leading manufacturer of TFT-LCD brightness enhancement films has recently opened its Asia Display Center (the only one of its kind in Asia) in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province. 3M Korea produces brightness enhancement film, used for monitors of mobile communications appliances like LCDs and notebook computers at its Naju factory, South Jeolla Province. It plans to invest 6 billion won ($5 million) during the second half of this year to increase production to 3 million units annually, up 33 percent from previous years.

The move by multinational companies to open R&D centers in Korea has provided Korea with the opportunity to upgrade domestic technology to world-class levels. Honeywell Korea, for example, plans to recruit some 200 researchers by next year and send them under a technology exchange program to the United States and Britain for three to six months. Siemens also plans to carry out ultrasonic- related research jointly with Sogang University, a move that will promote greater understanding of state-ofthe- art technology in academic circles since this is an area in which Korea lags behind other industrialized countries. As Honeywell and Siemens intend to manufacture products developed through their research, these moves are expected to boost their employment and exports.

Thus far, Korea has attracted foreign investment by promoting the country as a manufacturing platform to serve the domestic and regional markets in order to achieve certain goals such as improving trade balance, creating employment, enhancing the industrial structure and building foreign reserves.

The contemporary pattern of foreign investment has begun to change since the government is increasingly turning its eyes to attracting foreign investors who are able to deliver high-added value production and transfer advanced technology. Greater emphasis in now placed on luring FDI-oriented toward exports rather than the domestic market. Toward that end, the government is exploring ways to improve the investment environment to promote the country to the status of an Asian business hub and a regional production, research, development and management center for multinational companies. The backbone of the ¡°Hub Korea¡° project, as it is known is the exploitation of Korea¡¯s merits in terms of its industrial base and geographical location.

A BASE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET Korea¡¯s regional hub status looks likely to be reinforced by China¡¯s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) as multinationals seek a stable, democratic and developed base from which to serve East Asia¡¯s most burgeoning market. Testimony to Korea¡¯s industrial strength and heightened level of transparency is the fact that it alone has fully recovered from the Asian economic crisis while countries such as Thailand are still struggling, four years after the fact, to return their economies to stability and sustainable growth.

Volvo Construction & Engineering Korea (VCEK), formed by the Volvo Group¡¯s $570-million acquisition of the heavy equipment division of Samsung Heavy Industry, has assumed the position of global headquarters of the Group as its Changwon plant is responsible for 80 percent of its total excavator production. It has also become the global R&D center of the Group¡¯s construction machinery division. In fact, some 250 of the Company¡¯s entire 1,400 employees are engaged in R&D activities. R&D expenditures amount to 4 percent of annual sales, so exceeding the Korea average of 2 percent to 3 percent in Korea. The successful operation of the company to date illustrates the degree to which Korea offers optimal conditions for research and development as well as production.

As another strategic element in the government¡¯s Hub Korea project, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and E n e rgy (MOCIE) will amend the Foreign Investment Promotion Act within this year in order to encourage other multinationals to locate their R&D activities in Korea. Under the draft of the amendment, multinational companies investing more than $10 million in a research center and employing more than 20 researchers on a permanent basis will be eligible for generous tax incentives by having their facilities designated as Foreign Investment Zones (FIZs).

The government aims to advance the Project by designating five western areas of Seoul and its vicinity¦¡Songdo New Town, Yeongjong Island (site of Incheon International Airport), Gimpo reclamation site and Sangam¦¡as Special Economic Zones.

The government¡¯s aim is to foment within the SEZs the world¡¯s best business environment in terms of professional services, living conditions, human resources and administrative support.

A SPECIAL PLACE By creating special laws, conditions and amenities, the government wants to make the Zones especially attractive to foreign investment and foreign corporate personnel and so further promote Korea¡¯s position as a regional business hub.

The five areas have been selected for SEZ designation on account of their geographic merits, among others. In addition to their excellent logistical advantages, offering easy access to international airports and seaports, they are also in close proximity to Seoul and are integrally connected to the country¡¯s well-developed road and rail network. Furthermore, the teeming and increasingly affluent cities of northeastern China are just a short distance away; in fact, a total of 43 Asian cities with populations of more than 1 million are within a two-hour flight of the Zones. Given the fact three of the SEZs are close to the Demilitarized Zone, the plan is also being pursued with national reunification in mind because of the zones¡¯ eventual capacity to serve as distribution and business centers for the North.

Among the five Zones, that encompassing Songdo and its knowledge-based industry will be promoted as a key area for Northeast Asia and to this end the government has been exerting efforts to attract the regional headquarters of multinational companies into the area. Already, VaxGen of the United States has agreed to construct a 30,000-pyong (100,000-square meter) R&D and production facility in an Incheon City bioindustry complex to manufacture the Company¡¯s AIDS vaccine.

In addition to the development of the Special Economic Zones, the government has initiated other strategies to further globalize Korea in the interests of creating an attractive environment for foreign business. They include attracting the branches of leading foreign universities and establishing high schools specializing in educating their students from an international perspective.

A growing number of multinational companies already based in Korea choosing the country as their base from which to conduct business on an Asian, and even a global level. For the future, the trend toward relocating corporate research and development in Korea in order to access other East Asian markets will only intensify, given the country¡¯s advanced technology infrastructure and the strength of political will to produce the most welcoming environment in Asia for such activities. Source : Kt&I- 27/09/2002

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TOUT REUSSIT AUX COREENS QUI PORTENT UN VUITTON… OU SA CONTREFAÇON

Si cet article vous intéresse, n'hésitez pas à nous en demandez une copie. Source : Le Figaro - 18/10/2002

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NOUVELLE LEGISLATION SUR L'INSTALLATION ET LA GESTION DES EQUIPEMENTS MEDICAUX SPECIALISES

Le ministre de la Santé (et du bien-être) a préparé une nouvelle " Loi sur l'installation et la gestion des équipements médicaux spéciaux ". Aux termes de cette dernière, les hôpitaux urbains possédant au moins 200 lits devront être équipés de scanners de tomographie informatisée (CAT) utilisés pour le diagnostic du cancer et des maladies vasculaires. Pour les hôpitaux ruraux, sauf s'ils sont privés, le nombre de lits minimums est abaissé à 100.

Cette mesure a été prise dans le but d'éviter des frais inutiles résultant de l'installation d'équipements coûteux et inutiles, ou d'examens superflus. Le nouveau protocole ne concerne pas toutefois les hôpitaux généraux de toutes les régions.

Le projet de loi préconise également l'établissement d'une loi relative à l'installation de scanners d'imagerie par résonance magnétique dans les hôpitaux possédant au moins 200 lits. Il propose aussi que les équipements soient examinés régulièrement afin de garantir leur efficacité et leur sécurité.

Cette loi est soumise à l'approbation du ministère de la Législation qui devra se prononcer d'ici la fin octobre 2002. Source : The Korea Herald - 17/10/2002

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LE PATRONNAT SUD-COREEN RESISTE A LA SEMAINE DE 5 JOURS

Si cet article vous intéresse, n'hésitez pas à nous en demandez une copie. Source : La Tribune - 21/10/2002

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LOCAL FIRMS GET SERIOUS ABOUT ETHICS MANAGEMENT - By Nho Joon-hun

The fall of mammoth companies like Enron in the United States has sent a strong warning to corporations around the world that bending the rules is no way to do business.

Such a development actually came on the heels of an increasing focus on corporate transparency both here and in other countries with companies moving quickly to adopt global ethical management standards.

The move toward being more honest and open in engaging in business activities is natural when considering that an increasing number of companies are listed on the stock market, with shareholders having the right to know what they are investing in. In fact, a recent survey showed that most companies believe that having high ethical management standards is a critical part of boosting business performance. With individual companies doing their own part about adopting such standards and business practices, the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) last month officially formed the Korea Ethics and Compliance Office Council (KECC), consisting of law supervisors of financial services companies and code of conduct officers of major domestic corporations. ``KECC is an expansion of the Council of Industrial Ethics Executives and was formed in reaction to the international demand for ethical management,'' one FKI official explained. The new council also involves the participation of financial services companies, scholars, NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) and other industrial ethics professionals.

``The formation of KECC is a step toward the development of high industrial ethics. It is important that the business community face the enactment of the Industrial Ethics Standard that has been debated in the U.S. and other International Standards Organization countries,'' Sohn Byung-Doo, executive deputy chairman of the FKI said.

At a ceremony marking the launch of the KECC, Lee Kyung-Sang, president of the council and vice president of Shinsegae Department Store, said that Korea must improve the quality of ethical management of industries through an exchange of the best ethical management policies among its industries in their operations worldwide. The operation of KECC is by no means the beginning of the movement for adopting more-ethical standards in business management _ the FKI adopted a Charter of Korean Business Ethics in 2000.

Under the charter, FKI member companies will fulfill their social duties and responsibilities as members of the global community, and create fair profits through creativity and innovation. They will appropriately allocate funds for transparent business administration and dissociate themselves from influential relations with political and government sectors. Also, the companies will develop professional managers, compete in a fair manner and further develop a cooperative relationship between large and small businesses.

Further, FKI member companies will more fully address the rights and interests of the consumer, work for the benefit of all elements of business activities, cultivate environmentally conscious management, contribute to community development and observe local laws and hold in high esteem the culture and customs of other countries as a good corporate citizen.

The charter, and the basis of the movement toward transparent and ethical management practices, obviously covers more than just business conduct. For instance, it addresses such important issues as further developing a cooperative relationship between large and small businesses in recognition of the synergistic effect of partnership between them and the significant mutual benefits to be derived from such relationships.

``This is evidence of our recognition of the need to adopt more-global standards in doing business, especially since we are now in an era of globalization and competition without national boundaries,'' the FKI official said.

As part of efforts to further develop the charter, member companies of the FKI have been visiting companies known for high ethical standards, including IBM, Johnson & Johnson and Northrop.

Meanwhile, the KECC recently nominated Lee Jong-yeong, a member of the permanent advisory council of the Korea Industrial and Economic Development Institute (KIEDI), and Prof. Kim Seong-su of Kyunghee University, as advisors to help find solutions to ethical problems that are occurring in financial institutions and other industries on a continuous basis. jakenho@koreatimes.co.kr Source : Korea Times - 24/10/2002

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PUBLIC COMMUNICATION CRITICAL PART OF CRISIS MANAGEMENT - By Nho Joon-hun

Most people do not have direct contact with public relations companies, mainly only through the media, so their role is often mistaken to be limited to the distribution of press releases and organizing events.

Not so, say Robert Pickard, managing director of Edelman Public Relations Worldwide Korea who insists that the role of a PR company is much greater and beyond.

``It is in the area of crisis management where the PR industry in Korea is poised for its most substantial growth. Successful Korean companies are becoming increasingly international, and Koreans working abroad have personally experienced the many business benefits of having a sound crisis communications regime in place,'' said the Canadian PR specialist.

``How a company deals with a crisis from a communications perspective can make or break its reputation. Because effective crisis management is so important, PR firms are playing a rising role in supplying corporate demand for sound crisis counsel,'' he added.

At Edelman, Pickard noted, effective crisis communications is always guided by these principals of preparing for crises, responding quickly, acting with integrity and disclosing fully.

``Companies should recognize that crises can and will emerge. Strategic planning and crisis readiness are expected from responsible corporations. It is essential to take appropriate steps to put in place the systems and tools to respond effectively to a crisis before it happens. This would be true for both Korean and foreign companies,'' he said.

When crises erupt, a rapid response is vital. A company should make itself accessible as quickly and as openly as possible. Within 60 minutes of determining that a crisis situation may exist, companies must be prepared to issue an initial statement to the media and other key audiences providing the facts as they are known, and an indication of when additional details will be made available.

``Companies must take the first 24 hours of a crisis very seriously, and step in to fill an information vacuum with facts and perspective. The longer companies wait, the more likely falsehoods will become accepted as truths,'' said Pickard who arrived in Korea three months ago.

At the same time, he noted that taking ownership of a crisis is not the same as taking blame. ``Companies must demonstrate a strong sense of integrity, responsibility and commitment. The absence of concern and empathy causes a perception of arrogance,'' he added.

Where disclosure is concerned, Pickard said it is important to provide the media and other key constituencies with accurate, honest and timely information about what is happening and what to expect.

``By doing that, companies can establish credibility with the press and ensure the accuracy of news reports. Assisting the media will ensure that the company's side of the dispute is heard and that the media coverage is balanced,'' the Canadian said.

Such advice comes at a time when Korea has suffered from the financial crisis of 1997 and finds itself living in a connected world where information travels the globe in a matter of seconds and a company's response is reflected in its financial valuation almost simultaneously.

Working with a wide range of clients, from the Korean government to multinationals and Korean corporations, Edelman is in the business of helping to manage any myriad of situations, including managing product recalls, environmental issues, social responsibility and financial performance. jakenho@koreatimes.co.kr - Source : Korea Times - 16/10/2002

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KOTEC HEAD CALLS FOR RISK MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - By Park Yoon-bae

The head of the Korea Technology Credit Guarantee Fund (KOTEC) yesterday stressed the need for credit guarantee institutions to firmly establish a risk management system.

``We credit guarantee institutions need to prepare a risk management system or build a secondary market in order to gain a competitive edge and to be born again as a reliable total service institution,'' KOTEC president Park Bong-soo said.

He made the remarks during a speech at a five-day conference of the Asian Credit Supplementation Institution Confederation (ACSIC), which opened on Sunday in Taipei.

``Systematic monitoring as well as credit analysis must be intensified so that a direct and total service can be rendered for continued growth of client companies,'' he told the conference.

Heads of 13 credit guarantee institutions from 10 Asian countries are participating in the international conference, which will run through Thursday.

Park said the technology credit guarantee system is designed to offer financial assistance to small and medium firms that have difficulty accessing financing resources under the old banking system.

He added that the system is also aimed at enhancing the technological innovations of small and medium enterprises.

He noted that KOTEC played a leading role in overcoming the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis by alleviating the credit crunch of small and medium businesses and venture startups equipped with high technology.

Park said the credit guarantee system has contributed to enhancing stability of financial institutions by helping them reduce the ratio of risky assets, recover the function of credit-based loans and improve the stability of loan extension.

He emphasized that it is needed to develop or improve a corporate evaluation system.

``As the value of intangible assets like know-how increases and the social and economic environment changes rapidly, we should be equipped with an evaluation system that could correspond to the changes,'' Park said. Source : Korea Times - 17/09/2002

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KOREA'S GAME INDUSTRY PIONEER GOES GLOBAL

HanbitSoft, Inc. the company that brought you Star-craft and Diablo2 is now forming alliances and investing abroad to discover the next generation of exciting game concepts

Established in 1999, HanbitSoft is a digital entertainment company specializing in game development and publishing.

As the leader of the Korean game industry, HanbitSoft possesses not only the ability to develop games, but also tomarket them. The company has successfully published Star-craft and Diablo2 in Korea to generate sales of over 2.5 million copies for each game, resulting in the overall expansion of the domestic PC gaming market. HanbitSoft has also worked in close cooperation with other internationally recognized game development companies and publishers, and has maintained the no.1 position in the domestic PC game market for the past three years.

Based on this successful growth, HanbitSoft has searched for, invested in and cultivated prominent game developers in Korea. The company has also developed and distributed its own games, further strengthening its position as the leading publisher. Companies that HanbitSoft has invested in include PC game developers Makkoya Entertainment Inc., Heksplex Entertainment Inc., on-line game developers Joyimpact Inc., Comnjoy Co., Ltd., and IO Entertainment Inc. It has also provided project funding for Joycast Inc., a game developer specializing in console games, and made equity investments in Nako Interactive Co., Ltd., the company that developed ¡°Laghaim.¡±

HanbitSoft¡¯s own IT Research Institute is also having notable success in developing on-line and PC games. Following the rapid growth of the gaming market for children in Korea, the Institute released ¡°Aspire¡± and ¡°My Friend Puru¡± in August. Aspire is a strategy action game about the adventures of three main characters (a dog, a bird and a mouse), animals that aspire to become human beings. The dazzling yet delicate mixture of 2D and 3D graphics has received favorable recognition from the market.

My Friend Puru is an action arcade game featuring the Sapsaree breed of indigenous Korean dog where themes of childhood innocence and friendship come into play. The game is set during the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup where two dogs.Puru, a Sapsaree and an Akita from Japan.meet and become friends. The two then embark on an adventurous journey to prevent terrorist attacks during the World Cup. The game has some 25 stages set in a variety of locales including the Seoul World Cup Stadium, Korean palaces, and the subway. Soccer is the predominant theme throughout this game, adding a unique slant to the characters, items and scenes, and generally making the game more enjoyable.

In addition, Tantra, a ¡°Massively Multi-player On-line Role-playing Game,¡± or MMORPG will be launched at the end of this year. HanbitSoft has invested two years, plenty of human resources, and more than 2 billion won in Tantra, a game based on a world where ancient gods and humans co-exist. The game¡¯s full 3D graphics are sure to dazzle players and its distinctive worldview creates an atmosphere filled with Oriental mystique.

HanbitSoft plans to diversify its business in order to become a truly global digital entertainment company. As of now, PC games account for 70 percent of total sales, but in the future, the company intends to increase the sales of online and console games. Furthermore, it plans to continue to intensify its efforts to find promising game developers - both domestic and foreign - and to publish on their behalf, utilizing its sales network and marketing know-how to the maximum advantage. In January 2002 HanbitSoft listed its stock on the technology weighted KOSDAQ exchange. The company¡¯s goal for this year is to generate 108.7 billion won in sales, and 27.2 billion won in current account surplus.

FACE-TO-FACE With HanbitSoft CEO, Alex Kim

What is at the bottom of HanbitSoft¡¯s success?

Our core capability is in marketing. Many games that have enjoyed success worldwide have failed to achieve the same scale of success in Korea. However, Star-craft and Diablo2, which our company has published, have generated over 40 percent of their global sales in Korea. I think this is because of our innovative marketing strategies such as the establishment and support of game competitions through the Pro Game League and the diversification of supply channels. These strategies have now become the standard model for marketing games in Korea.

What are your major accomplishments in patent applications and practical new designs?

Our IT Research Institute has been conducting research not only on games, but also on e-Books in PDF format and MPEG-4 moving picture technology. In the field of e-Books, we have developed a product called PDF Invader, a program that converts documents made with QuarkXpress to PDF. It converts documents written in any type of font without altering the original document. We have applied for a patent for this product, and whether or not a patent will be granted is to be determined next year.

What is the current status of your plans to go after foreign markets?

We have invested $390,000 in a $1.3-million joint venture in Chengdu Tyfo Network & Information Technology Co., Ltd., an on-line game company in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. We have also started adapting IO Entertainment Inc.¡¯s action competition game, ¡°Survival Project¡± and Joyimpact Inc.¡¯s 3D MMORPG, ¡°W.Y.D.¡± to meet the needs of Chinese consumers. In addition, we will launch Pantech Net Co., Ltd.¡¯s 3D on-line game ¡°Dilmun¡± in China. Furthermore, we plan to launch, Tantra, a 3D on-line game that we have developed entirely on our own, in both Korea and China sometime during the latter half of this year. We also intend to establish branches in the United States and Japan in order to take advantage of those markets.

What kind of major awards have you won?

Last year, ¡°Digimon Treasure Island,¡± a document editing program for children that we developed won second prize in the Ministry of Information and Communication¡¯s Digital Contents Awards for educational content. Also, ¡°Talk to Kongkonge in English,¡± an educational software developed by our company that utilizes voice recognition technology to study English, won the same award this year. We have also received a meritorious award from the Minister of Health and Welfare for developing Sorinoon 2000, a text-tospeech synthesis program for the visually impaired.

What are your projections for the market?

The world¡¯s game industries first started in the 1960s, but Korea did not start developing games until the mid-1980s. Furthermore, the actual market for games did not become until the late 1990s when Star-craft created a market boom. Judging from the short history of the domestic game industry, the Korean market has grown rapidly in a short period of time.

In addition, the game industry is now recognized as a high potential cultural industry, tapping into a variety of knowledge-based resources. Therefore, I believe the industry holds great promise for future development. In particular, the technology for the on-line game support network is highly developed in Korea since it is based on the country¡¯s high-speed communication network, one of the most advanced in the world. Fully utilizing these advantages, the game industry in Korea should develop more PC and console games. In the global game market, console games actually take up a large proportion and online games are of relatively minor importance. The Korean industry should bear this in mind and work hard at platform diversification in order to move into the global market.

Does a partnership with HanbitSofteither in Korea or overseas interest you? If so, please contact kti@kotra.or.kr for further details Source : KT&I - 27/09/2002

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MEDISON, LE FABRICANT D'EQUIPEMENTS MEDICAUX, A MIS AU POINT SON PROPRE PLAN DE SAUVETAGE

Le fabricant d'équipements médicaux, en situation de liquidation judiciaire depuis le mois de janvier, a rendu public le plan qu'il a conçu pour échapper à la liquidation. Il a établi un plan de remboursement de ses dettes sur 10 ans qui inclut d'en convertir une partie en actions.

Ce plan va être soumis pour approbation au tribunal du district de Chunchon, en charge du dossier.

Plusieurs leaders du secteur s'étaient déjà montré intéressés par son rachat. Fondée en 1985, la société avait réussi à se positionner comme l'un des plus importants fabricants de scanners à ultrasons au début des années 90. Ses trop nombreux investissements dans diverses start-up l'avaient entraînée dans une situation financière de plus en plus difficile dont elle espère parvenir à se sortir. Source : The Korea Times -11/10/2002

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EXPORTATIONS DE VIANDE DE PORCS : REOUVERTURE DU MARCHE COREEN

La Corée du Sud vient de lever l'embargo sur la viande porcine d'origine française qu'elle avait mis en place en mars 2001 au moment de la réapparition du virus de la fièvre aphteuse en Europe. Ainsi, le marché de la viande de porc en Corée du Sud est de nouveau ouvert aux entreprises françaises qui en font la demande (notification du Ministère de l'agriculture coréen). Les entreprises qui souhaitent faire agréer leur établissement peuvent prendre contact avec leur DSV française - Direction des Services Vétérinaires.

Une quarantaine d'établissements français peut ainsi recommencer à exporter de la viande de porcs abattus après le 30 septembre 2002 vers la Corée du Sud. Les productions antérieures au 30 septembre 2002 ne pourront en aucun cas être expédiées en Corée du Sud. En effet, seules les viandes abattues à partir du 1er octobre seront autorisées.

La procédure d'agrément des établissements concernés était la dernière étape pour la réouverture du marché coréen. Au préalable, la Corée du Sud avait reconnu en février 2002 la France comme pays indemne de fièvre aphteuse, le modèle de certificat sanitaire correspondant ayant été établi en septembre 2002.

C'est l'apparition d'un foyer de peste porcine classique en France en avril 2002 qui a retardé jusqu'à ce jour la levée effective de l'embargo.

Contact communication : Eric Bardon, Service de communication du ministère (SCOM) : 01 49 55 48 78 - Marc Malenfer, Direction générale de l'alimentation (DGAL): 01 49 55 58 69 - Source : Ministère de l'Agriculture français - 02/10/02

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LES VOITURES COREENNES PASSENT A L'OFFENSIVE

Hyundai, Daewoo et Kia multiplient les lancements en Europe où leurs ventes ont décollé grâce à une stratégie du contournement.

Les coréens n'ont pas seulement pris goût au succès sur les terrains de footbaIl. Si les Diables rouges, demi-finalistes du dernier Mondial, paraissent avoir assimilé la fameuse culture tactique du foot moderne, il semble que les constructeurs automobiles originaires du pays du Matin-Calme aient eux aussi franchi un seuil.

On les croyait durablement éprouvés par la récession asiatique ; en réalité, ils sont en pleine forme. En Europe, leurs ventes ont décollé, et leur progression est encore plus manifeste dans l'Hexagone, où leurs immatriculations ont enregistré un bond de 17,4 % en huit mois, alors que le marché est globalement en recul de 5,2 %. Avec 15 259 voitures vendues depuis janvier, Hyundai, Daewoo et Kia viennent d'atteindre le seuil psychologique de 1 % du marché.

Pour les constructeurs coréens, vendre des autos aux Français n'a jamais été une partie de plaisir. Chez nous, leur part du gâteau est nettement plus réduite qu'aux Etats-Unis, en Italie ou en Allemagne. La faute à Renault, Peugeot et Citroën, spécialistes des petites voitures pas trop chères, à la guerre des prix, mais aussi aux attentes d'un public plus exigeant que la moyenne en matière de confort, de tenue de route et d'originalité esthétique.

Une qualité de fabrication

Souffrant trop nettement de la comparaison avec la production européenne, les firmes coréennes ont développé une stratégie de contournement. Elles ont investi en masse les créneaux en développement, où la concurrence est moins vive. La voiture coréenne la plus diffusée en France est le gros 4 - 4 Santa Fe de Hyundai, qui réalise aussi un bon score avec son coupé. La petite marque Kia fait parler d'elle avec ses monospaces Carnival et Carens, alors que Hyundai s'est maintenu grâce à son monospace Rezzo. Il y a trois ans, la gamme Hyundai - qui apporte, et de loin, la plus forte contribution au succès coréen - ne comptait que trois modèles. Aujourd'hui, on en dénombre douze, dont la plupart sont disponibles en version diesel. De son côté, Kia a procédé à six lancements en l'espace de quinze mois, et Daewoo, longtemps paralysé par sa situation financière, prépare une salve de nouveautés, dont le haut de gamme Evanda.

Cette offre élargie et diversifiée n'explique pas tout. Les derniers modèles coréens ont intrinsèquement progressé en tenue de route mais aussi en qualité de fabrication. Elles ont rattrapé une partie de leur retard dans le domaine de la sécurité passive, ne se contentent plus de châssis ou de mécaniques dépassés et soignent leur habitabilité. "Les Coréens ont changé leur approche ; ils ne cherchent plus à vendre des voitures aux normes coréennes, souligne Eric Mathiot, directeur général de Kia-France. Leurs références sont européennes, et ils font souvent appel aux mêmes sous-traitants que les marques du Vieux Continent." Intégrées dans le Monopoly planétaire de l'industrie automobile - Hyundai et Kia dans le giron de Daimler-Chrysler, Daewoo sous l'aile de General Motors, alors que Samsung, absent en Europe, appartient à Renault -, les firmes coréennes ne sont plus de petites marques isolées.

Cette montée en gamme, qui permet entre autres à Hyundai et à Kia d'afficher des modèles à près de 30 000 , modifie le positionnement habituel de ces autos venues d'Asie qui garantissent toujours un rapport prix-équipement avantageux mais n'offrent plus forcément le tarif le plus bas. Une Skoda Fabia, autrement dit une Volkswagen Polo dégriffée, est moins chère (et autrement plus convaincante) qu'une Hyundai Accent. De même, elles pèchent dans le domaine du confort de suspension. Quant au design coréen, souvent confié à des artistes italiens, il tarde à trouver une véritable cohérence, manque parfois d'élégance et de fluidité, mais ce n'est rien à côté de la piètre qualité de l'habitacle, où règnent encore trop souvent plastiques luisants et ambiance toc. Consciente des progrès à accomplir, la marque Kia dépêchera fin septembre au Mondial de l'automobile de Paris pas moins de soixante de ses spécialistes du design intérieur, chargés de regarder de plus près la production de la concurrence...

Petite mais habitable

Pour continuer de plaire aux Européens, les constructeurs coréens sont condamnés à viser le cœur du marché, c'est-à-dire le segment très disputé des voitures petites et moyennes. Il leur faut donc se mesurer aux institutions que représentent la Peugeot 206, la Renault Clio, la Ford Fiesta ou la Fiat Punto.

Les nouveautés qu'ils dévoileront lors du Mondial de Paris (28 septembre - 13 octobre) vont dans ce sens. Commercialisée dès octobre (à partir de 9 290 ), la Getz de Hyundai est petite (3,81 mètres) mais très habitable. D'allure sage, voire banale, elle propose deux moteurs essence (1,1 l ou 1,3 l) et bientôt un trois-cylindres diesel à injection directe de 1,5 l. Daewoo répond avec la Kalos, plus longue de 7 centimètres, moins diversement motorisée que la Getz mais dont la ligne, signée Italdesign, traduit une personnalité plus marquée. Enfin, après le Carens, Kia continue de creuser le sillon des voitures de loisirs et présente le cossu Sorento (près de 30 000 ). Ce croisement entre break et 4 - 4 singe un peu le style Mercedes mais dispose d'un solide quatre-cylindres diesel de 2,5 litres et paraît bien tenir le pavé.

Ces nouvelles venues ne chavireront pas forcément le cœur des automobilistes, mais elles les inciteront sans doute à regarder d'un peu plus près les voitures du pays du Matin-Calme. "D'autant plus, assure Eric Mathiot (Kia), que le déroulement de la Coupe du monde et les performances de l'équipe coréenne ont contribué à changer l'image que beaucoup de gens se faisaient de la Corée."

Jean-Michel Normand

La Kalos, une Daewoo à l'heure européenne

Une frimousse avenante, des ajustements de carrosserie soignés, un habitacle facile à vivre, une position de conduite légèrement en hauteur et de l'espace au-dessus de la tête. De la taille d'une Clio, la nouvelle Daewoo Kalos s'est mise à l'heure européenne. Bien assise sur ses roues mais d'allure moins excentrique que la petite Matiz, cette voiture, également dessinée par Giorgetto Giugaro (Italdesign), est agréable à regarder et à conduire. L'équipement est très complet, les liaisons au sol de bien meilleure facture qu'autrefois, mais ce sont surtout les progrès de l'insonorisation que l'on remarque.

Dommage que l'atmosphère intérieure soit toujours aussi sinistre et que la capacité du coffre (195 litres) reste insuffisante. En attendant un futur moteur diesel, la Kalos (à partir de 9 900 ) se contente d'un 1,4 litre essence de 83 ch un peu gourmand (7,5 litres aux 100 km en moyenne) mais assez volontaire, et qui lui permet de tenir son rang sur autoroute. Source : Le Monde - 21/09/2002

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LE GOUVERNEMENT COREEN SOUHAITE 8 LIGNES DE METRO DE PLUS

Le gouvernement sud-coréen veut investir 5,6 Mds USD d'ici 2008 pour construire huit lignes de métro supplémentaires dans une zone urbaine près de Séoul, dans la province de Kyonnggi. Les nouvelles lignes passeront par les villes de Suwon, Incheon, Yongin et Dongducheon.

Source : Dow Jones International- 10/10/2002

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KOGAS DRAWS ATTENTION OF FOREIGN INVESTORS - By Nho Joon-hun

The Korea Gas Corp. (KOGAS) is having the time of its life. Four years after the painful experience of the Asian financial crisis, KOGAS is turning in record business performances.

Last year, KOGAS, which holds a monopoly for the import of natural gas, chalked up a turnover of 7.2 trillion won, twice the amount at the time of the crisis, for a net profit of no less than 297 billion won.

KOGAS was also rated the best in terms of customer satisfaction among state-run companies in an evaluation conducted last year by the Ministry of Planning and Budget.

It also won the grand prize in a nationwide idea management contest organized by the Korea Management Association (KMA) for the second consecutive year last year.

Such achievements are what KOGAS president and CEO Kim Myung-kyu calls the co-existence of ``participation and achievement,'' something that is deeply embedded in the company's corporate philosophy.

These are results of years of dedication to delivering what customers need, on time and at the right prices, despite the fact that it has a nationwide monopoly.

At present, KOGAS is supplying natural gas to 26 city gas companies and 17 power generating firms with annual demand increasing at a rate of 20 percent per year.

``KOGAS was launched in recognition of increasing demand for clean sources of energy and we feel that we have been doing our job very effectively,'' Kim said.

However, the current achievements did not come easily. Aside from all the difficulties involved in securing a stable supply of natural gas, the financial crisis of 1997 was very tough for KOGAS.

As in the case of numerous other Korean companies, KOGAS had to go through painstaking restructuring under which it had to reduce its manpower by as much as 15 percent.

By integrating its organization to improve efficiency, KOGAS was able to overcome the effects of the crisis faster than most other companies, thus serving as a model for corporate restructuring.

Despite all of its corporate excellence, and the stability with which it implements its tasks, the price earnings ratio (PER) of KOGAS is considerably lower than that of many companies listed on the stock market and far below the market average.

``One of the main reasons why we have such a low PER, which means that our stock is undervalued, is that legislation on the restructuring of the gas industry is sitting idle at the National Assembly,'' Kim noted.

On the other hand, securities analysts say that restructuring will have little impact on the company's profitability.

A major portion of KOGAS's profits come from leasing gas storage facilities and even if the legislation is goes through the National Assembly, KOGAS will continue to maintain its monopoly on gas terminals since they cost too much to build.

What is interesting about KOGAS is that its stock has not been riding with the market and foreign ownership, for obvious reasons, but has been increasing rapidly.

For instance, the composite stock price index fell by 12 percent between May 8 and Sept. 12 during which the company's shares increased in value by 35 percent from 15,900 won to 21,500 won.

The impressive run has encouraged foreign investors to increase their stake in KOGAS, raising their ownership from 3 percent in the first half of this year to 8 percent more recently.

``The reason why foreign investors are picking up KOGAS shares is that its profitability is virtually guaranteed, which means that it will be paying out attractive dividends,'' Kim said.

Indeed, KOGAS has been paying out average dividends of 22 percent since 1999 and it plans to upwardly adjust the figure to 30 percent from next year.

``The installation of pipelines will be completed this year, which means that facilities investment will decrease sharply from next year,'' Kim said, explaining the basis on which his company plans to raise its dividends.

``The drastic reduction in facilities investment will significantly improve our cash flow as well as the overall financial structure of the company,'' he added.

In addition to the sharp reduction in spending, KOGAS is making concerted efforts to diversify its sources of income, some of which have already begun to show results.

For instance, KOGAS has been engaging in project investments in Oman and Qatar and recorded earnings of 43 billion won in19 months. Over the next 23 years, KOGAS expects to profit an average of 30 billion won per year from the projects.

KOGAS is also participating in the exploration of natural gas in Myanmar and Korea's east coast, as well as a natural gas pipeline project in Irkutsk.

``Another source of income has been the export of our expertise in the gas industry, including storage and distribution, to countries like Vietnam where the demand for natural gas is increasing,'' Kim said.

Such diverse efforts are part of KOGAS's integrated strategy to win the trust and confidence of investors, which are an essential part of its goal to emerge as a global leader in energy solutions.

``The efforts to get closer to investors and provide them with the latest and most reliable information start with management and go all the way down to the average employee,'' Kim noted.

At the same time, KOGAS has been organizing investor relations sessions both at home and abroad, heading out to the United States and Southeast Asia since last month.

``The slowdown in the U.S. economy means that American investors are looking for alternative destinations for their funds and we would like to be among those considered,'' Kim said.

With Kim personally making the presentations, and with the record business results of last year, KOGAS is steadfastly proving its status as one of the bluest chips in the Korean stock market. jakenho@koreatimes.co.kr Source : Korea Times - 18/09/2002

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LA COREE DU SUD VA CONSTRUIRE 9 NOUVELLES CENTRALES ELECTRIQUES

D'ici 2015, 9 nouvelles centrales électriques d'une capacité annuelle de production de 41.150 MW seront construites en Corée du Sud.

La capacité annuelle de production électrique passera ainsi de 50.860 MW en 2001 à 77.020 MW en 2015, étant donné que de nombreuses centrales électriques devront entretemps cesser leur activité. La capacité électrique d'origine nucléaire augmentera de 13.600 MW.

La part du nucléaire dans la production électrique du pays passera de 27% en 2001 à 34,6% en 2015.

Les entreprises publiques sud coréennes Korea Hydro et Nuclear Power Corp seront chargés de l'exploitation de ces centrales nucléaires. Les autres centrales (principalement au gaz) seront confiées à des opérateurs privés. Source : Le Moniteur - 24/10/2002)

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CHAEBOL LACK IN STRATEGIC FLEXIBILITY IN BUILDING FUTURE - By Seo Jee-yeon

Michael Raynor, research head of management consultancy Deloitte, yesterday advised Korea and Korean companies to take into account ``strategic flexibility'' when building a strategy, rather a single fixed view of the future.

``At the Seoul Financial forum that discussed the issue of how to develop Seoul as a regional financial center yesterday, I suggested that the goal itself is something contingent upon how the world and the economy develop,'' he said in an interview with The Korea Times. According to him, due to a number of uncertainties and changes around Korea, it has to develop a national vision based on scenario-based planning and strategy formulation to be flexible to unpredictable future.

He added what has to be remembered is that global trade percentages in 1914 were greater than that of today and it is not necessary to become more globalized than yesterday.

Strategic flexibility has been developed from the results of studies into a number of complex global companies coping with challenges and uncertainty. It stresses processes in building scenario-based stregities taking into account possible variants in the market and developing optimal strategies for each possible future.

Asked about his view on Korean companies in terms of building strategic flexibility, he said few Korean companies have adopted that approach.

`A lot of Korean companies, SK Telecom is a good example, are well known as quite successful companies in the world, and they are benchmarked globally. But at the same time, I would like to suggest that a lot of the characteristics that have allowed them to be successful up to now are not necessarily characteristics that will enable them to be successful in the future,'' he said.

He advised Koreans companies of preparing for an uncertain future in their own way, rather than benchmarking business models in advanced nations like they once used to do.

When it comes to strategies for the issue of labor unrest in Korea, he suggested that it is important for management to keep an eye on the impact of the changes in the regulatory environment on the ability of companies to create options. jyseo@koreatimes.co.kr - Source : Korea Times - 18/09/2002

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DAEWOO/GM APPROUVE PAR UN TRIBUNAL SUD-COREEN

Le lancement de la nouvelle entité du constructeur sud-coréen dirigée par GM vient d'être approuvé par des juges sud-coréens.

Daewoo Motor Co. a obtenu lundi l'approbation d'un tribunal en faveur de sa reprise par le géant de l'automobile américain General Motors Corp (GM), annonce le constructeur automobile sud-coréen.

GM a demandé le lancement d'une nouvelle société ce mois-ci constituée avec une partie des usines de Daewoo Motor, troisième constructeur automobile de Corée du Sud.

"Nous venons tout juste d'être informés de l'approbation du tribunal", a déclaré un porte-parole de Daewoo Motor à la suite d'une rencontre entre les représentants des banques créancières sous les auspices des juges.

Cette rencontre ouvre la voie au lancement d'une nouvelle entité du constructeur sud-coréen de voitures conduite par General Motors "à la mi octobre", a-t-il affirmé.

Il a précisé que la décision des juges permet le partage des actifs de Daewoo Motor en cinq unités distinctes dont l'une sera attribuée à la nouvelle société dirigée par le constructeur américain.

Par un accord signé en avril, GM et les créanciers de Daewoo Motor avaient décidé de relancer le projet GM-Daewoo Auto and Technology Co dans lequel le constructeur américain détient 42,1% des parts.

La nouvelle société dirigée par GM va reprendre deux usines Daewoo en Corée du Sud, et les filiales à l'étranger en particulier au Vietnam.

Daewoo a été déclaré en faillite en 2000 avec 17,5 milliards de dollars US de dettes - Source : autoactu.com - 30/09/2002

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LE PLAN DE SAMSUNG POUR GAGNER LA GUERRE DES ECRANS

La fin justifie les moyens. pour dominer le marché des téléviseurs plats, le fabricant a investi tous azimuts. et réorganisé sa production.

Les chiffres donnent le tournis lorsque l'on visite le siège de samsung electronics dans la banlieue de séoul (Corée du Sud). " Nous venons de fêter la sortie du cent millionième écran d'ordinateur et de la cent millionième télévision couleur de nos usines ", se félicite Young-yon Kim, le vice-président de la division écrans du groupe coréen. Dans le hall d'exposition, les derniers modèles d'écrans plats au design futuriste diffusent en continu des images d'insectes en gros plan et de troupeaux de chevaux sauvages filmés depuis un hélicoptère. " Bienvenue dans l'ère numérique ! ", affiche une autre télé géante.

Selon son propre slogan, Samsung Electronics invite chacun (" Everyone's invited ") dans un monde où la vie est encore plus belle filmée en grand large. Quel chemin parcouru pour cette marque qui, dans les années soixante-dix et quatre-vingt, fabriquait à la chaîne des téléviseurs à bas prix destinés à inonder les marchés européen et américain ! Aujourd'hui, le coréen est devenu le premier producteur mondial d'écrans d'ordinateurs (21,5 % de parts de marché en 2001), vendus sous sa propre marque ou sous celles de ses clients (y compris le numéro un mondial, Dell). Et dans la télévision, il risque bien aussi de s'inviter sur la première marche du podium en dépassant cette année les 10 % de parts de marché devant les deux seigneurs de l'image que sont le néerlandais Philips (10 %) et le japonais Sony (8,8 %).

Si Samsung a un tel appétit pour les téléviseurs à écran plat, c'est parce que ce marché est stratégique. " C'est le marché roi de l'électronique grand public, analyse Jérôme Habauzit, chef du groupe images du cabinet d'études GFK Marketing Services. C'est le plus important, il progresse très vite et permet d'imposer ensuite les différents périphériques d'un écran que sont les magnétoscopes, lecteurs de DVD, systèmes audio et autres ". Il s'agit d'utiliser les téléviseurs comme un levier pour s'imposer dans les rayons de la distribution, mais aussi chez les consommateurs. Sony et Philips, qui occupent déjà l'un et l'autre une place de choix dans les foyers l'ont compris de longue date. D'ailleurs, il ne sera pas si facile de les en déloger.

Dans le cas de Samsung, qui est jusqu'ici présent à la fois dans les produits bruns (TV, magnétoscopes) et le blanc (aspirateurs, micro-ondes, réfrigérateurs...), la bataille des écrans s'avère déterminante. Il y a certes de gros profits à réaliser dans les écrans du futur qui seront des produits à très forte valeur ajoutée, mais l'enjeu dépasse largement ce seul secteur. Le but est de devenir l'une des trois premières marques de la planète d'ici à 20 ans.

Un marché, deux options techniques

Voilà pourquoi, voici une dizaine d'années, l'entreprise s'est engouffrée sans hésiter dans ce qui apparaissait alors comme des technologies futuristes qui promettent de lancer des écrans dits plats, de moins de 10 centimètres d'épaisseurs. C'est enfin la télé qui s'accroche au mur du salon comme un tableau. L'autre évolution prévisible était la " convergence ": les technologies derrière les télés et les moniteurs, pensent les experts, vont progressivement se rapprocher pour donner naissance très vite soit à un seul et même produit multi-usage, soit à deux appareils polyvalents. Dans la maison du futur, on devrait regarder aussi la télé sur son ordinateur et surfer sur le net à partir de sa télé...

L'entreprise investit alors massivement dans la recherche et le développement pour prendre la concurrence de vitesse. Les sommes englouties vont jusqu'à représenter 8 % du chiffre d'affaires, un ratio rarement atteint. Comme il faut aller vite, comme il ne faut pas prendre le risque de miser sur la mauvaise option technique, Samsung prend le parti de lancer des recherches dans deux directions concurrentes, les écrans à cristaux liquides (LCD) et ceux à plasma (voir encadré). Et fidèle à sa stratégie d'intégration verticale, l'entreprise engage la construction d'usines capables de produire ces écrans à la chaîne. Au Japon, Nec, Hitachi, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sharp et Mitsubishi font de même. En Corée LG (ex-Goldstar) est lui aussi dans la course. En revanche, les constructeurs occidentaux ratent le rendez-vous et s'obligent à devoir sous-traiter la production de ces futurs écrans lorsque le marché sera prêt.

" La tâche a été facilitée, car notre groupe est l'un des tout premiers fabricants de semi-conducteurs du monde. Cela nous donne une grande expertise et nous permet d'avoir une longueur d'avance ", se félicite Whang Ki-Woong, vice-président en charge de la recherche et du développement chez Samsung. C'est pourquoi malgré la fragilité chronique de cette activité, Samsung tient à conserver ses semi-conducteurs pour ne pas dépendre de sous-traitants fragiles. Le groupe possède aussi une filiale spécialisée dans la fabrication de dalles en verre, Samsung Corning, qui va pouvoir fournir les plaques de ces écrans plats. " Nous maîtrisons toute la chaîne ! triomphe Whang Ki-Woong, depuis le grain de sable jusqu'à l'écran plasma. "

Sus à Sony

En parallèle, et ne serait-ce que pour améliorer les marges afin de financer ces investissements, le président Lee Kuhn-hee rompt avec la stratégie d'invasion des marchés par les volumes et les prix bas. À partir de 1993, Samsung Electronics va concentrer ses efforts sur les produits à haute valeur ajoutée. Moins de quantité mais plus de qualité. Le modèle non avoué officiellement de cette mue est le japonais Sony. C'est une véritable révolution. Cet objectif, devenir le Sony de demain, galvanise toute l'entreprise, qui fait de la qualité son mot d'ordre.

L'armée Samsung, constituée de collaborateurs disciplinés, presque dévoués corps et âme à l'entreprise, se met alors en ordre de bataille. Des investissements massifs de publicité accompagnent le changement du logo de la marque et témoignent de cette volonté dans les différents pays. Dans l'entreprise, les cadres se mettent à apprendre l'anglais et sont envoyés en Europe pour s'imprégner de la culture occidentale et mieux détecter les attentes des consommateurs haut de gamme. Enfin, l'accent est mis sur le design des produits, qui devra permettre d'améliorer l'image de la marque et la hisser à des niveaux de prix plus élevés.

Le premier écran plasma de Samsung est au point en 1997. Mais à cette date, le constructeur n'est pas encore prêt pour une production en masse. Tout comme ses concurrents, Samsung s'aperçoit bien vite que la fabrication d'écrans plasma est extrêmement délicate à mettre en oeuvre. Elle exige une atmosphère stérile et dépourvue de particules en suspension. Les lignes de production pilotes ont des taux de défauts prohibitifs (autour de 50 %). Tout l'enjeu va alors consister à ramener ces chiffres dans des limites acceptables.

Même lorsque la Corée du Sud est touchée de plein fouet par la crise financière en 1997, Samsung continue de préparer son offensive. Le groupe construit son usine ultra-moderne d'écrans plasma dans la ville de Chonan, au centre du pays, pour un coût de 300 millions d'euros. Cette installation high-tech doit pouvoir produire chaque mois 30 000 écrans de 42 pouces (un mètre de diagonale) dès qu'il y aura une demande suffisante. C'est un véritable pari car seule une production en masse permettra à ces produits de devenir abordables mais pour autant, lorsque les industriels construisent leurs méga-usines, les consommateurs ne savent encore rien de ces nouvelles technologies.

Pour les écrans à cristaux liquides (TFT), le développement a été plus rapide encore et la concurrence bien plus vive. La production d'écrans pour ordinateurs portables a débuté dès 1995 dans l'usine de Ki-Heung, à 50 kilomètres de Séoul. Puis suivant l'exemple de Sharp, Samsung conçoit un modèle plus grand destiné à la télévision. Du côté des écrans d'ordinateurs, la concurrence taïwanaise provoque une surproduction et la chute des prix en 1999. Mais le groupe persiste là aussi car il veut continuer à maîtriser coûte que coûte les deux technologies de son avenir. Ses efforts sont payants puisque sur l'ensemble des applications des écrans TFT (PC portables, moniteurs, téléviseurs, appareils médicaux), Samsung s'arroge plus de 20 % du marché mondial en 2000, devant LG-Philips, Hitachi, Sharp et Toshiba. Le fait d'avoir misé sur les deux technologies s'avère payant. Ces derniers mois, le TFT a permis de couvrir les besoins en écrans de petite taille et le plasma ceux des écrans géants. À l'avenir, les deux techniques seront tout simplement concurrentes pour tous les produits.

Réorganisation de l'entreprise

Le plus impressionnant est que ce repositionnement a été mené à bien en même temps qu'une réorganisation de la logistique et des services. La chaîne d'approvisionnement (supply chain management) a été remise à plat. " Nous nous sommes d'abord fixé l'objectif de travailler avec moins de 15 jours de stocks, et peu à peu, on est arrivés à zéro stock ", indique Jacques Mollet, le vice-président de Samsung France. Le groupe fait ainsi des économies et ne se retrouve jamais avec des produits dont le marché ne veut plus. Ce résultat exige que chaque vendeur Samsung dans le monde fasse des prévisions de commandes vingt semaines à l'avance, via un système de communication commun par intranet. Celui-ci permet aux usines (une à deux par continent) d'avoir une visibilité totale des prévisions et des ajustements ultérieurs de commandes.

En outre, les sites de production comme celui de Wynyard au Royaume-Uni peuvent adapter l'activité heure par heure, dans des sites polyvalents capables de produire sur les mêmes chaînes de production des téléviseurs et des moniteurs. Ainsi les clients (revendeurs, distributeurs spécialisés et grande distribution) sont approvisionnés directement depuis l'usine en moins de cinq jours. " C'est une pression très importante, mais chacun la subit tout au long de la chaîne ", commente Jacques Mollet. Pour l'heure, il s'agit encore en majorité d'écrans traditionnels à tubes cathoodiques. Mais la demande d'écrans plats est en train d'exploser. " Le marché des écrans plasma a augmenté de 1 400 % en un an en France ", confirme Jérôme Habauzit de GFK Marketing Services. Pour témoigner de son avance, Samsung vient d'ouvrir, à Paris, un luxueux espace d'exposition dans le quartier de l'Opéra, le " Digital Hall ".

Les prix, encore très élevés, devraient baisser très vite et les consommateurs se détourner du tube cathodique pour les nouveaux écrans à partir de 2004 ou 2005. Source : Coree-news.com - 9/10/2002

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SAMSUNG SEMICONDUCTOR CEO: NEW PRODUCTS LIKELY TO INCLUDE M-SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY

Samsung Semiconductor president and CEO Yoon Woo Lee: Wireless communications sector will probably be the main generator of high-tech growth.

Visiting Samsung Semiconductor president and CEO Yoon Woo Lee said the global high-tech industry growth would not resume before the second half of 2003. Lee added that the wireless communications sector would probably be the main generator of high-tech growth. He said wireless communications networks would probably become dominant in the coming years, replacing ADSL and similar technologies. Samsung Semiconductor therefore plans to concentrate on developing components for this sector.

During his visit to Israel, Lee toured several Israeli semiconductor technology companies, including M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers (Nasdaq: FLSH), which has a strategic cooperation agreement with Samsung Semiconductor. M-Systems develops Flash memory chips.

M-Systems' products, which save information without electrical power and replace mechanical drives, are used in digital cameras, mobile computers, MP3 players, hand-held devices and other products.

Lee said Samsung Semiconductor would probably integrate M-Systems' technology in its new products. M-Systems is reportedly negotiating with Samsung, Motorola (NYSE:MOT), Ericsson (Nasdaq:ERICY) and LG to integrate its Mobile DiskOnChip product, a flash memory component designed for mobile devices, in their cellular telephones.

Samsung Semiconductor is a division of Korean electronic giant Samsung. It is one of the world's largest semiconductor manufacturers. The division has 29,000 employees and had $4 billion in sales in the first half of 2002.

Samsung Semiconductor is represented in Israel by Data JCE, which is jointly owned by Nisko Projects Electronics and Communication and JCE Elron. Source : Globes on line - 20/10/02

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SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS MULTIPLIE PAR 4 SON BENEFICE NET AU T3

Samsung Electronics, producteur mondial de "puces" et une des principales sociétés sud-coréenne, a annoncé ses résultats du troisième trimestre. Le groupe affiche un bénéfice net de 1.730 milliards de wons soit 1,39 milliard de dollars, contre 420 milliards de wons au troisième trimestre 2001. Le chiffre d'affaires s'établit à 9.920 milliards de wons contre 9.940 milliards au deuxième trimestre et 7.200 milliards au 3e trimestre 2001. Le bénéfice avant intérêts et impôts (EBIT) ressort à 1.770 milliards de wons, contre 1.870 milliards au deuxième trimestre et 19.100 milliards au troisième trimestre 2001. Samsung Electronics a profité de ses ventes en téléphones mobiles pour quadrupler son bénéfice net. Cependant, ce chiffre marque toutefois une baisse de 8,9% par rapport au chiffre record de 1.900 milliards de wons enregistré au deuxième trimestre. Un ralentissement qui est imputable aux investissements technologiques. Source : Lesinfos.com - 21/10/2002

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RENAULT SAMSUNG : BUILDING ON THE TURNAROUND

In April 2000 French automaker Renault S.A. made its second major investment in the Asian auto industry by taking control of then ailing Samsung Motors. The year before, Renault purchased a stake in Nissan of Japan. The French company now holds a 44.4-percent controlling interest in Nissan, which owns 15-percent of Renault.

In Samsung Motors, Renault bought a 70.1-percent stake to create a new company, Renault Samsung Motors. Through two affiliates, Samsung retained a 19.9 percent share and the creditors, the remaining 10 percent. The new management has turned the company around from the depths of insolvency and is now embarking on a program of expansion to more than double production by 2010.

Below, Renault Samsung Motors CEO and representative director Jerome Stoll explains the background to the takeover, the subsequent turnaround and the company¡¯s plans for the future.

Were you party to the original decision to purchase Samsung Motors? If so what was your motivation?

I was not personally a party to the negotiations. I joined the team at a later stage, but to answer your question let me say first that Renault has an impressive strategy of growth. As you know the car industry is very competitive and after we made a huge investment in South America we looked at markets we were not present in and they were mainly in Asia. For a long time we had looked at the Korean market and the Korean actors, even before our negotiations with Nissan. This was because we considered Japan completely closed and impossible to enter, while we felt the Korean market could be more open for us, from the point of view of cooperation, at least. We later had the opportunity to enter the Japanese market through the Nissan agreement. At the same time, Korea was plunged into its worst financial crisis ever. After the crisis, some opportunities came up again, one of them being Samsung Motors. Actually, Samsung had a very close technical relationship with Nissan; in fact the development of the Samsung Group¡¯s car industry was made under a technical agreement with Nissan. So it was quite easy for Renault, after entering into an agreement with Nissan, to enter into one with Samsung.

While producing the same model, the SM5 the company has made a stunning turnaround in the two years it has been under Renault control. To what do you attribute this success?

Samsung Motors faced financial trouble because they launched their product when the country was in a huge crisis, but the roots of the company were very good. The SM5 is known for its quality and performance. Its styling is rather classical than fashionable, but as such it suits the Korean taste. The factory was a state-of-the-art brand-new investment. So the assets were very good. Then after the takeover, you have the incredible willingness of the employees ¡°to turn the page,¡± as it were. The involvement of everybody inside the company to make it a success was very impressive. They worked extremely hard and developed a positive spirit that has contributed a lot to the image of the company. Along with that, we received the support of local authority in Busan and also the national government. For example President Kim, Dae-Jung visited the company at its early stage in October 2000. We also recruited a lot of people, contributing to the local economy. When you have this plus a good product, which offers good performance and low cost of usage, everyone feels it¡¯s a win/win situation.

What are the major difficulties you encountered in this process?

It may surprise you that the major difficulty I personally faced, and still face is the language barrier. I like to talk, because one of the basics of management is to explain things. But when you are obliged to use an interpreter all the time, whatever the quality, to explain exactly what you want, why you want it, communication is difficult. I¡¯d say the other difficulties are no greater or smaller than any you can face when you want to do business. So I can¡¯t tell you, ¡°Look, it was incredible here, it was really hard to overcome these difficulties .¡± We had some, but we are paid to solve difficulties ! I¡¯m not saying there are no problems. There are, but they can be solved. So far, so good!

What¡¯s prompting the decision to launch the SM3 model? Do you plan to launch other models?

Yes, but I won¡¯t tell you when and what models! For a carmaker that¡¯s one of the most confidential pieces of information that on your side you can get or on my side I can release. But definitely we shall launch new models because we cannot implement our mid-term plan without them. And since we have in our future the ambition to produce and sell 500,000 units annually, its obvious that it cannot be done with the two existing models. So we will definitely have to expand the line-up.

To return to the first part of your question, there were two main reasons that led to the decision to launch the mid-sized SM3. Firstly, we wanted to offer our customers a second model as fast as possible, so it was important to look at a model that could be manufactured quickly. For that reason we chose the SM3 since it can be introduced quite easily on the same production line as the SM5.

The second reason was that by adding another model, we could consolidate the brand image of the company, especially since both models look as though they are part of the same line. From what we¡¯ve seen so far, customers really appreciate this new product. Advanced orders now stand at 10,000, but what¡¯s really interesting is in the first 10 days of September the mid-sized market segment doubled compared to last year. This wasn¡¯t considered a very important segment because the number of products offered was quite limited. But with the introduction of this new car we can, I think, expand this segment since the product will increase the range offered to the customers.

You plan to expand your production to 500,000 units per year. How will this come about?

In February 2001 we announced our mid-term plan for the first two years, 2001 and 2002. Our targets for this stage focused on starting up the comp any, trying to build market share with one product and launching the second product. During the second stage, from 2003 to 2005, we aim to increase production to 200,000 units with the introduction of a third model and gain a reasonable market share for the existing two models. It¡¯s in the 2003/2005 period we expect to break even. Between 2006 and 2010 we plan a major expansion to produce 500,000 units, with 50 percent earmarked for exports. It will be during this period that we¡¯ll consider expanding the plant and further investment, etc. Actually, during the first two stages of our strategy there will be no need to expand our existing facility since it can already handle an output of 200,000 units. It will be in the third stage that we¡¯ll consider expanding the existing facility.

You¡¯ve spoken of the need to hasten the China/Korea/Japan free trade area project. What other initiatives are necessary to improve Korea¡¯s business climate?

I follow very closely the efforts to make Korea a hub for Asia, but recently many multinationals have decided to invest in Shanghai or Beijing or wherever else in China. When I discuss with friends who are investing in China I am surprised to hear them say how difficult it is from an administrative point of view, but, nevertheless, they are investing. The question is why, and the answer is immediate: the size of the market. So, if Korea really wants to become a center of decision-making it obviously must provide foreign investors with an attractive administrative environment, easy access to accommodation, schools, etc. But in the end, there is the question of market size. So, if Korea can enter into a free trade agreement with China and Japan, then the matter of access to these huge markets will be achieved at the same time as having an accommodating administrative environment, so we really have to see how both can be attained.

On the second question, I¡¯m also closely following the progress of the Sunshine Policy toward North Korea, since South Korea is virtually an island. Most trade, 98 percent, is by sea, and the remainder, by air. So the more we can develop rail and road links with the North to make this country less of an island and really part of the rest of the continent, the more it will promote business and will help us a lot. So, I¡¯m happy that all these things are moving along quite positively now. Source : KT&I - 27/09/2002

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RENAULT SAMSUNG: A FRENCH RECIPE TO SAVOR

How the European company heated up a struggling carmaker ? Lim Sang Soo loves to boast about his taxi. He has driven more than 120,000 kilometers through Seoul's potholed streets in his blue and grey Renault Samsung SM5 without so much as a hiccup. And the car came with plenty of options: Instead of stripping out extras such as power windows and leather seats--as other Korean carmakers do for taxis--Renault Samsung piles the goodies in at no extra cost. "Many passengers ask taxi drivers' which car to buy, and I always tell them to buy an SM5," says Lim

A lot of Koreans must be asking cabbies for recommendations. After just two years of operation, Renault Samsung Motors Co., the French auto maker's Korean subsidiary, is breaking even--two years ahead of target. In the fast-growing Korean market, the SM5 is vying with Hyundai Motor Co.'s Sonata as the best-selling midsize sedan. Sure, it has a reputation in the popular press for dull styling (the SM5, which starts at $10,000, is based on the five-year-old Nissan Maxima). But the company expects to sell some 116,000 cars this year--9.7% of all passenger cars sold in Korea. That should drive Renault Samsung's revenues to $1.25 billion, up 42% from last year. The success "beats all our expectations," says Yoon Jung Ho, a managing director at the company.

He's not alone in his surprise. The Korean conglomerate Samsung, better known for its mobile phones and computer chips, started selling cars at the worst possible time: in April, 1998, when the Asian financial crisis was sweeping through the region like a typhoon. After selling 44,000 cars in 1998, Samsung managed to move fewer than 7,000 the next year. The company's spanking new $3 billion factory in Busan--built in cooperation with Japan's Nissan Motor--looked like one of the worst investments in Samsung's history.

Enter Renault. In September, 2000, the French carmaker picked up 70% of the operation--with an annual capacity of 240,000 cars--for just $512 million, leaving Samsung holding $2.5 billion in debt from the project. As soon as new Chief Executive Jerome Stoll arrived from Paris to run the venture, he cracked down hard on costs, questioning everything from expensive tweaks in vehicle design to the cost of putting up an ad billboard. "We had to show how we would improve our bottom line for every move we made," says Ryu Jai Hyon, Renault Samsung's planning director. Stoll declined a request for an interview.

It's time for a second act. In September, Renault Samsung introduced a new model, a smaller sedan called the SM3. The car, starting at $7,500 and based on the same platform as the compact Nissan Bluebird Sylphy, is the first model developed since the French started calling the shots. So far, it has been a hit: Buyers have snapped up 3,000 SM3s in the three weeks since the car was launched, and there's now a backlog of 10,000 orders. "The success or failure of the SM3 will likely determine Renault Samsung's future," says Kim So Rim, head of research at the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Assn.

Marketing the SM3 may not be as easy as selling its big sister. For starters, Renault Samsung could offer the SM5 at a low price because it bought the factory on the cheap, after all of the design work on the car was already completed. The SM5 was virtually the only alternative to Hyundai in its class, whereas there's more competition for the SM3. And with General Motors Corp. taking over and reinvigorating rival Daewoo Motors, "the business environment will get tougher," says Goldman, Sachs & Co. auto analyst Young Chang.

Still, Renault has even bigger dreams. The French auto maker has earmarked $360 million over the next three years to help increase design and development capabilities at the Korean subsidiary. And Renault wants to ramp up production of the SM5, SM3, and at least one other new model to 240,000 in three years, and to 500,000 by 2010--when it plans to export half of its production. The Korean unit will concentrate on promoting Renault's brand in Asia, with its cars looking increasingly different from those of Nissan, its other affiliate in the region. The Korean operation "will be Renault's hub in Asia," Renault Chairman and CEO Louis Schweitzer said after a visit to the Busan plant in September. To be certain of success, all he has to do is export some Korean taxi drivers along with the cars. Source : Business week - 07/10/02

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BNP PARIBAS ASSET MANAGEMENT A SIGNE UN ACCORD AVEC SHINHAN FINANCIAL GROUP POUR LA CREATION D'UNE SOCIETE COMMUNE DANS LA GESTION D'ACTIFS.

Le 23 septembre 2002, BNP Paribas Asset Management a signe un accord avec Shinhan Financial Group pour la creation d'une societe commune dans la gestion d 'actifs.

Conformément aux termes de l'accord, BNP Paribas Asset Management va prendre une participation de 50 % (moins une action) au capital de la société Shinhan Investment Trust Management Company, pour un montant de 23,75 milliards de wons (19,8 millions d'euros). Un complément de prix d'un montant maximum de 11,25 milliards de wons (9,4 millions d'euros) sera versé à Shinhan, en fonction du chiffre d'affaires généré par les réseaux du groupe coréen au cours des 3 prochains exercices.

La nouvelle société, dénommée Shinhan-BNP Paribas Investment Trust Management Company (Shinhan-BNP Paribas ITMC), bénéficiera de l'expertise de BNP Paribas Asset Management en matière de gestion et de commercialisation, d'une part, et du vaste réseau de distribution du groupe Shinhan, d'autre part.

Shinhan BNP Paribas ITMC vise à devenir une référence sur son marché, grâce à la performance de ses produits et à la diversification de son offre. Son objectif est de figurer parmi les 10 premières sociétés de gestion en Corée d'ici la fin de cette année et parmi les 5 premières à l'horizon 2005.

Cette nouvelle filiale commune dans la gestion d'actifs illustre la volonté de BNP Paribas et de Shinhan Financial Group de renforcer leur coopération, après la création de filiales communes dans le crédit à la consommation (avec Cetelem) et dans la bancassurance (avec Cardif). Source : BNP-Paribas / Boursorama - 26/09/02

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CARREFOUR KOREA PICKS EXEL FOR DISTRIBUTION CENTRE LOGISTICS

CARREFOUR, one of the world's leading grocery retailers has named Exel as its sole supply chain provider for its newly built distribution centre in South Korea.

The contract award, which is for the management of the 28,000 square metre distribution centre and all store transportation, enhances the existing relationship between the two companies, the French retailer said.

Currently Exel provides services to Carrefour in Belgium, France and Spain managing in total, 129,000 square metres of warehousing space. Carrefour has been operating in Korea since 1996 and is now the leading foreign retailer with 23 stores, the company said.

J H Park, general manager of Exel in Korea said: "Given the complexities of this market, Carrefour was looking for a partner who has both a strong local presence as well as a proven track record in retail distribution. In selecting Exel, Carrefour has chosen a partner that is able to successfully leverage these capabilities and provide a world class solution."

"We are excited that Carrefour Korea has entrusted us with its logistics operations. This decision validates the soundness of our supply chain solutions and expansion strategy in Asia Pacific, and affirms the value of the Exel network for one-stop global logistics solutions," said Paul Graham, managing director for Supply Chain Solutions at Exel in Asia Pacific.

Earlier in the month, Exel was awarded a three-year contract with Turkey's third largest retailer - Tansas.

Exel said it would provide warehousing and distribution services to Tansas throughout the Ankara region in northern Turkey.

Reserved by schednet - Source : Sealink - 23/10/2002

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L'OPERATEUR COREEN POWERCOMM CHOISIT LA TECHNOLOGIE OPTIQUE SDH MULTISERVICE D'ALCATEL POUR ETENDRE SES INFRASTRUCTURES DE TRANSMISSION

Les systèmes d'Alcatel permettront la fourniture de nouveaux services large bande aux entreprises coréennes. Alcatel, le leader mondial des réseaux optiques, et Powercomm, l'un des principaux opérateurs de télécommunications coréens, filiale de National Electric Power Co, ont signé un accord pour l'extension des réseaux métropolitains et longue distance de Powercomm en Corée. Ce projet d'extension, qui exploitera les systèmes optiques multiservices SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) d'Alcatel, permettra aux entreprises clientes de Powercomm de bénéficier rapidement d'un plus large éventail de services à haut débit, tels que les lignes spécialisées et l'Ethernet.

Alcatel déploiera des nœuds SDH multiservices OMSN s'adressant aussi bien à des applications métropolitaines que longue distance. Ces équipements vont permettre l'extension du réseau métropolitain de la capitale, Séoul, et la modernisation des infrastructures nationales de la Corée. Ce déploiement offrira à l'opérateur une solution optimisée pour améliorer significativement la capacité et les fonctionnalités multiservices de ses infrastructures de transmission SDH déployées sur l'ensemble du territoire coréen.

Alcatel fournira également une plate-forme de gestion de réseau évoluée qui assurera la gestion intégrée des réseaux métropolitains et longue distance, tout en garantissant une supervision et une exploitation optimisées de l'ensemble de ces réseaux.

"Ces dernières années, Powercomm s'est appuyé sur les systèmes OMSN d'Alcatel pour l'exploitation de son réseau, ce qui nous a permis d'améliorer notre performance et la qualité de nos services ", a déclaré Moon-Young Park, directeur du département construction de réseaux de Powercomm. "Nous pensons que cette extension va nous permettre d'enrichir encore plus notre offre large bande et d'améliorer le niveau de satisfaction de nos clients professionnels."

"Nous sommes heureux que Powercomm ait de nouveau choisi la technologie et l'expertise d'Alcatel pour la modernisation de son réseau de transmission qui marque une nouvelle étape dans le déploiement d'architectures de réseaux de nouvelle génération en Corée", a souligné Jean-Marie Vansteenkiste, Président des activités réseaux optiques d'Alcatel. "Les systèmes optiques SDH d'Alcatel offrent des solutions multiservices évolutives, accompagnant aussi bien les services traditionnels que les services de nouvelle génération, tout en optimisant les investissements déjà réalisés par l'opérateur."

Leader mondial des réseaux optiques*, Alcatel a fourni ses solutions de transmission aux principaux opérateurs et fournisseurs de services de la région Asie-Pacifique. En Corée, Alcatel a renforcé ses positions grâce à une étroite collaboration avec Powercomm et SK Telecom pour la modernisation de leurs infrastructures de télécommunications. Cet accord fait suite au contrat remporté en 2001 par Alcatel pour la construction du réseau régional SDH à 2,5 Gbit/s de Powercomm dans le sud de la Corée. *Selon les rapports de RHK et d'Infonetics pour le 2ème trimestre 02 Source : Alcatel - 1/10/2002

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GIGA TELECOM CHOISIT WAVECOM POUR EQUIPER SON NOUVEAU TELEPHONE PORTABLE

Wavecom S.A, n°1 mondial de modules intégrés de communication sans fil, annonce aujourd'hui la signature d'un contrat avec Giga Telecom Inc., le fabricant de produits télécoms coréen. Selon les termes du contrat, Wavecom assistera Giga dans le développement d'un téléphone portable GSM/GPRS. Le nouveau terminal intégrera le module WISMO Quik bi-bandes.

Reconnue comme une ' Entreprise de Technologie Supérieure ' par la Korea Technology Guarantee Fund, Giga Telecom s'est construit une solide réputation dans le domaine de la recherche et de la réalisation d'expertises aussi bien sur le marché local d'Asie Pacifique que sur le marché mondial des télécommunications. L'entreprise a déjà lancé avec succès une gamme de produits CDMA en Amérique du Nord et du Sud. Le nouveau téléphone GSM/GPRS basé sur le WISMO Quik est destiné au marché chinois et devrait être commercialisé au cours du premier trimestre 2003.

Le module WISMO Quik de Wavecom a été choisi par Giga pour sa solution GSM/GPRS totalement intégrée dans un format compact et léger, ainsi que pour le support technique extensif inclus dans l'offre WISMO. Le module WISMO Quik bi-bandes retenu répond parfaitement aux caractéristiques du nouveau portable GPRS GGH-300C qui offrira par ailleurs des sonneries polyphoniques 16 tons et un écran OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode). ' Cette coopération nous permet de continuer à progresser, en profitant de l'expertise en technologies de communication sans fil de Wavecom dans le développement de ce nouveau téléphone portable. La flexibilité, la fiabilité et l'intégration facile de la technologie WISMO, associées aux nombreux services de support, nous ont convaincu que Wavecom était le mieux placé pour nous assister dans ce projet. Nos clients seront les premiers bénéficiaires de ce choix ; par la technologie supérieure mise à leur disposition, mais également par la disponibilité des produits, qui sera beaucoup plus rapide ', commente M. Kim Ho-Young, President Directeur Général de Giga Telecom Inc.

' Nous sommes heureux que Giga Telecom, une société en plein essor dans ce marché des communications mobiles d'Asie Pacifique, ait choisi Wavecom pour fournir le coeur technologique de ses nouveaux téléphones portables. Nous allons aider cette entreprise à atteindre les objectifs qu'elle s'est fixés pour ce nouveau produit et nous sommes fiers de participer à son succès croissant dans sa région mais aussi dans le reste du monde ', a déclaré Mme Song Mee Hee, Directrice de Wavecom Corée Co. Ltd Source : PR Line - 8 octobre 2002

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KOLON DISCUSS TIE-UP WITH LOUIS VUITTON

Kolon Group said yesterday its chairman Lee Woong-yeol met with the head of the fashion division of the Louis Vuitton Group in France Oct. 4 to discuss a business tie-up.

FnC Kolon, one of Kolon group's subsidiaries, agreed to introduce Louis Vuitton's fashion brand Marc Jacobs in Korea in September.

The company plans to introduce Louis Vuitton's other fashion brands, including Christian Lacroix, a group official said.

Louis Vuitton Group is a worldwide group specializing in wine and spirits, fashion, luggage, perfume, cosmetics, and other luxury products. Korea Herald (2002.10.07)

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SAMSUNG HOOKS UP WITH VIVENDI WATER

Samsung group is poised to advance into the nation's environmental control market, by setting up a business alliance with Vivendi Water, of France's Vivendi Group.

CEO Yang In-mo of Samsung Engineering, the Samsung unit of design and engineering, said Monday that his company has signed a strategic partnership agreement with the French firm to tap the market for operation and maintenance of water treatment facilities.

In order to step up efforts to win water treatment projects in Korea, estimated to be worth W3 trillion a year, Samsung Engineering would soon set up a joint venture with the French company, Yang said. Source : Chosunilbo (2002.10.14)


 

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