Page 1

August 2016

We visit with Phil Chung Lewis Patterson Kim Hyun-Sook

Creativity The human gift for design

Korea Voices Bryan Hopkins Steve McKinney Hank Morris Tony Michell Michael Conforme Jocelyn Clark


In This Month’s Issue Founders’ Message


KBLA Update Upcoming KBLA Events

Last Supper at the Paris Grill KBLA Night Out: Baseball at the Skydome


Recent KBLA Events


Phil Chung


Kim Hyun-Sook


Skydome Baseball Professional Seminar: Crisis Management Breakfast Business School: Leadership Essentials

KBLA Community

International Man of Conferences The conference business is a dynamic and important one. Phil Chung combines all of his interests in putting on the best shows possible.

Lewis Patterson


Boots on the Ground Working for companies from around the world, on the ground, in Korea, Lewis Patterson, provides much needed grease for the gears of commerce.

Representing American States in Korea Trade and investment isn’t just country to country. Kim Hyun-Sook explains how and why US states take action in Korea on their own.

Korea Intelligence Trade, Finance, & Industry






Risk Management




Real Estate


Legal Analysis


Asan Institute Retrospect


In This Month’s Issue

Korea Voices Bryan Hopkins


Korea’s Patent Approval Linkage System- A New Age For IP In Korea

Steve McKinney



Michael Conforme BCG: Are you going to Milk the Cow or Shoot the Dog?

Special Feature 82

There is a story behind every image, or, at least, there should be.

About the KBLA

Hank Morris


Korea and the Brexit Challenge

Bank of Korea’s Forecast for 2016 and 2017 in Perspective

Making Photos


Kreating the Konditions for a Kreative K-Brand

Selling Your Company To The Talent Pool!

Tony Michell

Jocelyn Clark





Founders’ Message

Creativity is the only boundless human resource. T

he one thing that human beings do that no other being in the universe does, to our understanding today, is create new knowledge. Creating new knowledge is not a trivial skill. It is a skill that allows humans to transcend the limits that were on us up to that point. We not only know more, we can do more. We fly higher, dive deeper, explore more widely. We live in places we couldn’t live before and live in ways we didn’t before. Creativity has allowed us to increase our numbers incredibly while at the same time shrink our world. It is a pretty special thing. Creativity doesn’t come easily, unfortunately. So far, we have not been able to establish a sure-fire, repeatable, teachable algorithm for creating happy accidents. What we have been able to learn, however, are the general principles underlying creativity so that we can set ourselves up to be lucky from time to time. Breaking the Script We’ve learned that the soul of creativity is breaking the script. We start to find new ideas and new solutions when we take elements already well-known to us and disregard the many process scripts that are normally attached to them. We know the tool is normally used in this way, but what if I do it this way? We know the pieces fit together this way, but what if we try to connect them that way? Implicit in this process is one key issue: we don’t know ahead of time what the result will be - we must try it.

Try It “How do you know if something works or not? You try it.” This bit of advice seems to be common sense, but it is surprising how often we don’t follow it. Our brains get in the way. We think we already know what the proper way to do things is, and “why is that lampshade on your head?” So, we don’t try because breaking the script sometimes makes us look funny. We don’t try because we are afraid of failure. We don’t try because we are afraid of breaking something. We don’t try because we’re afraid our situation will get worse rather than better. We don’t try because we’re not used to trying. The modern world hasn’t made just trying things out any easier. An almost pathological focus on efficiency has left us unable to pursue the less obvious pathways. Increasing opacity of technology has left us less able to just tinker. We have to fight these tendencies. We have to remind ourselves of the necessity of exploration without guarantees. We have to just keep trying new things.

Rodney J. Johnson President, Erudite Risk Co-Founder, KBLA

Steve McKinney President, McKinney Consulting Co-Founder, KBLA


Upcoming KBLA Events

Last Supper at the Paris Grill Hosted by Rodney J. Johnson, Erudite Risk The KBLA Dinner was our first event. It was held at the Paris Grill then and it has been held at the Paris Grill ever since. The KBLA Dinner was instantly known as a unique meeting in Korea, somewhere where great business relationships among peer leaders could be forged in just one sitting. The KBLA Dinner still remains as it was in the beginning: a unique and valuable event at a fantastic venue. We have no agenda other than fine food and drink, great conversation, and great company. As this may be our final Dinner at the Paris Grill, we’re planning something extra special this time.

KBLA Dinners are always kept small to allow for more interaction and better conversation. We only have twelve seats, so reserve early. This KBLA Dinner features a sixcourse meal with unlimited red and white wine.

Friday August 5, 2016 Paris Grill, Grand Hyatt Seoul This event is limited to KBLA Members and specially invited guests only.

Upcoming KBLA Events

KBLA Night Out at the Skydome This edition of the KBLA Night Out is hosted by Lee & Ko.

Friday September 2, 2016 This event is limited to KBLA Members and specially invited guests only.

The KBLA Night Out at the Skydome is truly a special night of fun and camaraderie. For our last visit of the year to the Skydome, we are going big or going home! We have reserved the largest private VIP Skybox in the stadium where we will eat, drink, and watch the Nexen Heroes trounce the competition. The evening includes a buffet dinner and welcome drink provided by the Skydome. Additional beverages can be purchased from the stadium.

Due to the generous support of Lee & Ko, costs for this event are down significantly from previous Skydome events. There are only 30 seats available for this event! Register early! Baseball in Korea is already an energy-filled event and watching it in a private box while spending time with your fellow KBLA members makes it even more exciting. Register early at


New KBLA Members in July Mr. Shay Feiler Head of Israel Economic and Trade Office The Embassy of Israel

Dr. Keri Ellinnson Associate Vice President for Research University of Utah Asia Campus

Mr. Julien Herveau Managing Director Mazars Sebit

Mr. Chris M. Ireland Distinguished Professor & Chief Administrative Officer University of Utah Asia Campus

Mr. Navid Firouzbakhsh Chief Engineer LG Electronics

Mr. Jeff Shin Korea International School

Mr. Jonathan Cheng Staff Reporter The Wall Street Journal Mr. Alastair Gale Bureau Chief, Korea The Wall Street Journal Mr. Ken Yang Representative Korea Business Services, Inc.

Mr. Daniel Choi Business Director Korea International School Mr. Patrick Cox Director of Admissions Korea International School Mr. Ryan Lee Senior Director | Korea Head of Global Occupier & Investor Services Cushman & Wakefield (Korea) Ltd.



Recent KBLA Events

Nexen Heroes Baseball

Night Out: Always a Great Time Under the Big Roof Our second visit to the home of the Nexen Heroes was just as good and just as exciting as our first. KBLA Night Out events at the Geocheok Skydome are always special. In our second visit to the stadium, we enjoyed a private box for nine, buffet dinner, and incredible game. This is also the second time we’ve had a high scoring game during our visit. The Geocheok Skydome is special because it is a dome: it is impervious to the weather outside. It also has luxurious private/corporate boxes where we can enjoy a private meeting, our own space, and relative ease of movement between

watching the game, eating, and networking. All of these things mean it is a venue that can’t be beat for KBLA Night Out activities. We’ll be returning to the dome, and to our own Skybox, again in September for one last game of the year. Join us there. (See upcoming events on page 9 for more details.)

Recent KBLA Events



Recent KBLA Events

KBLA Professional Seminar Crisis Management

After our first KBLA Professional Seminar, which was on Legal and Operational Risk Management, Crisis Management was a natural choice. Crisis Management is one of those skillsets you hope you never need. Unfortunately, we live in a highly unpredictable world where organizations are susceptible to shocks and disruptions of all forms. The shocks, themselves, are potentially damaging, but it is what we do after they occur, what we do next, that determines just how damaging. Our reactions are almost more important than the initial events. How an organization reacts in the first few minutes and hours following a crisis is crucial for containing damage, protecting the brand and reputation of the company, and avoiding further legal liability. Crisis Managment has three elements or angles to it: legal, operational, and communications. Each is a part of the whole and each is essential to getting the best possible result to come out. To handle each of the aspects in a reasonable time, however, an organization must be prepared in advance because trying to prepare to respond in a proper and timely manner once a crisis event has already occurred is nearly impossible. There just isn’t time to figure it all out. Preparation for a crisis includes a variety of activities. Determining who all the org’s stakeholders are, determining what negative events can impact them, how those events can lead to other negative events (how they are linked together), and how we can mitigate negative

impacts are all part of preparation. We must also consider our legal duties to each stakeholder and how and what must be communicated to each of them. Crisis Management is a complicated but worthwhile skillset to have.

Recent KBLA Events



Recent KBLA Events Phases of a Crisis Actions taken immediately postevent have the greatest impact on the ability of the organization to weather the storm of real damage and public opinion.

Phases of a Crisis As time passes, possible actions decrease and the ability of the organization to get out in front of the problem is reduced. Eventually, the organization becomes completely reactive to what has already occurred.

Lifecycle of an Issue Communications has its own timeline and requirements for rapid action based on the needs of the outside environment. Understanding the media ecosystems you exist in is crucial to crafting an effective crisis communications plan.

Recent KBLA Events Prevention & Action Issues Communications Cycle A good communications strategy, while potentially difficult to create and execute, is crucial for protecting brand and organizational reputation.

Crisis Management Process Determining when a crisis has begun and whether or not to activate the crisis management team is a key consideration in crisis management.

Operational Scenarios Different crisis scenarios require different processes for minimizing actual and legal damage, depending on whether or not people and assets are still in danger.



Recent KBLA Events

Christopher Wood

Essentials for Effective Leadership The General Manager of Estée Lauder Companies, Korea, gave KBLA members a fresh and sincere take on an ever-relevant topic. Being a leader is rarely easy. Being a leader in Korea has its own challenges. Being a leader, in Korea, of a retail, multi-brand, customerfacing organization with a long history of global prestige beauty brand success, is another thing altogether. This is a role Christopher Wood, leader of Estée Lauder Companies, Korea, lives each day. Mr. Wood presented on what he has experienced in his time in Korea and Japan, as well as his philosophy and personal approach to leadership.

Mr. Wood described finding your purpose as a leader, designing for growth, the differences between management and leadership, and becoming a 360 degree leader. Of particular emphasis was the strong focus organizational leadership should put on human resources, hiring, and talent development. This event was easily one of the KBLA’s most interesting Breakfast Business School meetings yet.

Recent KBLA Events



KBLA Community

Phil Chung

Helping bring the world to Korea, one conference at a time As Head of International Business for KINTEX, Phil Chung, is helping put South Korea on the conferences map. Tell us a little about your background? When you were growing up, what did you envision you’d spend your life doing? What did you study in school? I was born and raised in Seoul and started taking interest in the convention industry while serving in ROK army. I always thought about doing a global business like my relatives who are very successful in a few Korean conglomerates. My close relative was the President and CEO of the entire Samyang group and my grandmother and her husband ran a huge trading company in the past. Lots of people around inspired me to look for things out of Korea and I wanted to do something different in Korea, some areas that my relatives didn’t know well, those influences ended being the convention business. I majored in convention management (Master’s degree at Kyunghee University). It might sound very childish but, during my childhood, I wanted to make an invincible robot that would destroy the North Korean regime (-: but i studied literature, trade and convention, so that childhood dream was never fulfilled! Instead, I’ve launched lots of technology, robot conferences and tradeshows! (-:

Tell us about your family. How did you meet your wife? Any kids or plans for kids? My wife Suna was introduced by my good friend, Sungwon, whom I met in New York while I worked at a mid-Manhattan based software company named ‘Empowered Media’ before I joined KINTEX. She’s a PR & Marketing professional, who worked as a PR and Marketing manager for KPR & Associates, which is Korea’s No. 1 PR firm, led by Sung-In Shin (CEO) who’s on a very good terms with both of us. She also worked for Grundfos Pump (World’s No. 1 highly-efficient smart pump manufacturer) as a marketing director for several years. Now she’s not working anymore, but rather enjoying her pregnancy at home. We are expecting our first baby this coming December. We’ve been married for about 10 years already but are only having a baby now...

KBLA Community How did you find your way to KINTEX? What is your role at KINTEX? How long have you been there? I’ve been working for this company since May of 2004. I opened two venues as a founding member. I was introduced by a headhunter to this company after I got back from the US early in 2004. At first, I worked on a contract and became a fulltime regular member in December of 2004. Over the years, I promoted and marketed this company worldwide, and brought lots of international conventions and tradeshows to KINTEX. Many of the shows I have worked on are the world’s largest in their areas: GASTECH 2014 was the largest travelling energy related tradeshow, which I brought to Korea for the first time, and this year we successfully hosted the Rotary International Convention 2016, which brought about 50,000 people from 160 countries. There are so many large and interesting shows in the KINTEXT portfolio as well as in me. And over these years, I am more focused on creating our own or jointventure global conventions such as Inside 3D Printing, RoboUniverse, VR Summit, and Inside Bitcoins conference and expo. I am even organizing Korea’s largest Christmas fair! The Korea Christmas Fair, this year - Dec. 9-18, which will be held over 10 days at KINTEX venue. I welcome all KBLA members to this event! ( ) What do you think is the most rewarding part of what you are doing now? What is the most challenging? What would you change? The biggest challenge is that we have too many opportunities in the convention industry so we are constantly in need of more and more workforce, new agents, new jointventure partners, and so on. The most rewarding part is that I am a part of this fast-growing business, which can contribute a lot to the economy. It will take some time to develop our global businesses, with many industry professionals in

and out of Korea, and there are so many good opportunities for KBLA member organizations as well. KINTEX seems to be going strong. What are KINTEX’s strong points, the things that make people choose KINTEX for their venue? As you might know, KINTEX is the largest venue in Korea, and is near both Incheon and Gimpo airports and Central Seoul (near gangbuk, no traffic disturbances) and unlike other venues, we’re helping organizers to strategically grow their events with us. We incubate them and co-organize events if both sides agree to co-organize. Clients always want to make money out of their businesses and we’re quite successful in that we help them grow financially and even in size. The conference and exhibition industry is very competitive now. Does Korea have a set of advantages over its competitors, like Singapore and Shanghai? Why do people choose Korea when they do? Korea’s market is much wider than southeastern Asian markets and Korea is recognized as a hot ICT testbed by other countries these days. The Korean Wave seems to be a huge advantage to us as well. FTAs between Korea and 30+ countries are also adding more trading opportunities to our events and where there is any sort of trading opportunities, there comes a tradeshow. When the economy is weak, we still have a variety of recession-proof industry events. The conferences and exhibition industry is quite interesting. Too many things to tell at the same time. (-: The world is changing so fast. What kind of challenges and changes are facing KINTEX and the industry in the near future? How is the business evolving? We’re inundated with digital opportunities and there is so much information that we cannot digest it all right now. Having said that,



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digital service sectors will be a huge plus to this industry. The convention business is always forming good symbiotic relationships with all industries and all we need to keep on top of are the major trends, future implications, and top players. Then we can start organizing good events by ourselves or with others using our own venue.

In a world of video conferencing, the web, and short attention spams, will we always have exhibitions and conferences? Are there things about face to face conferences that are irreplaceable? Definitely, it is just like how you feel

like meeting somebody when you when you are texting them; we want to meet them at some point and make things happen. People want to interact and want to meet up. They use social networking applications as an additional method of interaction to establish a connection for future interactions, not to replace face to face communication. Take the KBLA. The KBLA even launches lots of small but meaningful seminars so that members can meet up with each other and interact in person. By nature we want to gather together and discuss things in person and we can add more to that by using mobile and online tools. The more digitalized our work processes become, the more frequently we would feel inclined to meet with each other. But, yes, sometimes small gatherings can be replaced by online or virtual meetings. Having said that, until now, people just want to meet

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up first and discuss. Human touch is an essential part of this job and people want to see others who share similar interests. They can always text each other later. (-:

seminars. Last year we got about 160,000 visitors for 10 days. Can you believe that? You can simply Google Korea Christmas Fair and you will see lots of photos.

What “can’t miss” shows are coming up at Kintex?

What’s next for Phil Chung? Anything else you’d like to tell us?

We will have Smart Cities Innovation Summit Asia (http://smartcityasia. net/2016/, Sep., 20-22) and the Korea Christmas Fair (www., Dec., 9-18, for 10 days). The Smart Cities event was held in Austin, TX for the first time this year and I suggested they do it again in KINTEX in this coming September. Every country has a smart city related city agenda and there will be about 30,000 people from about 50 countries. Huge. SCIS Asia is to co-locate with Asia Power Week, which is organized by a 100 year old US show organizer called Penwell. You can see three tradeshows at the same time as they will open up the halls as one integrated, international event.

I have lots of projects that have not even started, mostly they are global tradeshow and convention projects.

Korea Christmas Fair is a phenomenal Christmas event in Korea. We are adding about 40 concurrent events and X-mas

It is an honor to have KBLA’s active participation in our events. KBLA members can consider doing business with us if a few conditions are met. I have always thought, and have officially mentioned, that Korea-based industry professionals are very important assets to Korea’s globalization. Lots of fresh initiatives can be started by getting together with people with a variety of viewpoints. As a member of the KBLA, I’m happy exchanging many new, fresh ideas. If there’s any common interest, we can simply get together and exchange ideas. If that idea looks good and becomes bigger than we thought it could at first, that becomes a convention.



KBLA Community

Lewis Patterson

Your man on the ground in Korea. An accidental interest in the Korean language led to a life bridging gaps between operations in Korea and global expectations. Tell us about your background and how you came to be on your current career path. With a History Honours degree under my belt and visions of becoming a bank manager I came out of an interview with a NZ bank with an offer for an IT role (thanks to psychometric testing) and for the next six years stayed on that path. I had a number of IT project management roles with companies in NZ and the UK. On the way to the UK I passed through Korea. In the three weeks I had here (this was back in 1999) I became fascinated by the Korean language. This led me ultimately to quit my IT PM role with T-Mobile in the UK and enroll for a Korean language course at Sogang. After a total of a year’s study (with a bit of back and forth to the UK) I headed back to NZ for a role with the NZ government (NZTE). Just a year into that role I got head-hunted for a position as branch manager of a NZ company. My experience there and in the NZTE role was what lead me to set up Latitude which provides effective branch management functions to companies in Korea. We don’t use the word consulting because we literally operate as an employee of the company we represent, meaning we also cannot represent companies that are seen as potential competitors of our current partners. At the time it was a unique

proposition (and from what I can see, still is). As such, it was a very hard sell in the early stages but now our problem is not looking for new business but making sure we are geared to meet the needs of our current and referred partners. Tell us about your current role in your company. What is the most challenging part? Managing expectations between our partners in Korea and overseas is the biggest challenge. Like any branch office we are in the middle somewhat and close to the action. Translating what that means and making sure each ‘side’ gets the best results over the long-term is our key function. You are a former Chairman of the Kiwi Chamber of Commerce. Was that challenging? If so, how so? Are you still involved with the chamber now? The Chamber board is made up of a bunch of very enthusiastic individuals, most of whom either run their own companies or hold highlevel positions in big companies. So challenging, yes. The reasons that is

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the case, you can probably imagine. I was also Chair during the time of the FTA and did my best to help the NZ Government deliver the best deal they could, while also working on Chamber initiatives. So it was a very busy time. Too busy a time when a young one shows up on the scene. I am still very much involved in the Chamber. Currently, I am a Director and focus most of my efforts on the work we kicked off while I was Chair with the ANZ, where we have a longterm programme of engagement with the Songjukwon Orphanage. What does a normal day look like for you? Is there such a thing? Generally don’t work on normal days. As much of our work is project based we have to be flexible. We often have in-market visits to coordinate, tasting events in hypermarkets to manage and oversee and most recently a fairly large conference on Innovation

and Sustainability for Consumer Packaging to run. But, for anyone wanting to get me late at night the chances are slim – my phone ringer will likely be on silent. You would just have to wait until around 6 am, by which time if I have not heard my phone alarm chances are I would have heard our 9 month old. Representing companies based out of Korea, do you travel a lot? If so, where do you travel to? Actually not as much as you might expect. One or two trips to NZ where many of our partners are based and maybe one or two trips to the US and/or Europe. I’m happy to keep it that way.



KBLA Community What are some of the returns you see coming from Korea’s engagement with the world as it now is being executed? I can speak primarily to the areas of business we focus on. Korea’s high investment in R&D has pay-offs as does the Korean ability to brand itself and its products. Both from internal discussion with Korean companies and backed up by a recent visit to the US what I see is the large companies taking on big technology projects overseas, often in conjunction with overseas partners. Where these investments are focused in areas of sustainable energy or technology then there will be a long-term payoff if managed well. Unlike many of the trading focused companies we come across during our time, most Korean companies seem to grasp the value of upfront investment and securing a brand presence. Even the smaller companies (in fact down to individual regions or farms) put a lot of focus on this. My only note of caution for the Korean companies would be that brand value is fragile and that they will need to ensure they have robust and transparent business practices in place and that the organization’s spending on R&D allows for (indeed encourages) disruptive-design-type innovation. The structure of Korea’s economy is changing. Small businesses are becoming more important to Korea. Exports are becoming less so. How are these things changing Korea’s economic outreach to the rest of the world? From what I have seen the ‘engagement’ of Korean small business on a global scale is still in its infancy. Some are making headway in conjunction with the larger players and others in targeted markets but as a broader trend I think we still have to wait a little

before we see a big impact in terms of ‘outreach’ described above, economic or cultural. That said, I spend most of my time in Korea so I don’t claim to be an expert.

“Unlike many of the trading focused companies we come across during our time, most Korean companies seem to grasp the value of upfront investment and securing a brand presence. Even the smaller companies (in fact down to individual regions or farms) put a lot of focus on this.”

KBLA Community



KBLA Community

Kim Hyun-Sook

Twenty-five years of helping US states connect to Korea Chairperson of the Association of American State Offices in Korea, Kim Hyun-Sook is at the forefront of US state-level trade and investment. Tell us about your background and how you came to be on your current career path. I joined the State of Missouri, South Korea Office, in December, 1991, as a marketing coordinator to promote various Missouri agricultural products to the Korean market. My B.S. degree in agriculture led me to take this role, I believe. As a marketing navigator for Missouri agricultural product exporters, I did the market research and agent/ distributor search to recommend the most reliable distributors to Missouri companies. I led numerous trade delegations to Missouri State and achieved over 120 agent/distributor contracts for Missouri exporters. After my ten-years tenure in marketing, I finally won the contract to be the InMarket Director for the Missouri Office in Korea in June, 2001. Since that time, I was the Korea Representative for Missouri State for ten years. From January, 2008, I also represented the State of Utah for eight years. Overall my career background has been to represent various U.S. state governments over the past twenty-five years. I am now working with the State of North Carolina. Tell us about your current role at ASOK? What makes it special for you? Tell us about ASOK as an organization. The Association of American State Offices in Korea, ASOK, www.asok. was established in 1989 to promote mutual interests of U.S.

State Offices located in Korea. As the only organization in Korea for U.S. state offices, it has as its members 14 states, 3 port authorities and 1 county of the United States. ASOK provides U.S. state offices with the organizational framework necessary for collective actions, especially for developing trade opportunities between U.S. and Korea, and attracting Korean investment to the U.S. As the chairperson of the ASOK, I develop various opportunities with

“ASOK provides U.S. state offices with the organizational framework necessary for collective actions, especially for developing trade opportunities between U.S. and Korea, and attracting Korean investment to the U.S. � Korean government agencies, industry organizations, and associations for our state members to increase their business transactions with Korea, and promote their states as destinations for Korean outbound investment. How long have you been representing the State of North Carolina in Korea? I joined the State of North Carolina in May, 2015. Specifically, I belong to the

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Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), a nonprofit public-private partnership of the state, to focus on recruiting new businesses to the state and connecting NC exporters with customers around the globe. I am very proud to be the first director for the EDPNC Korea office. What does representing a US state in Korea entail? What are the goals for the states? The common goals of U.S. state offices in Korea include assisting their state exporters to increase sales to Korea, and attracting Korean investment to the state they’re representing. To increase exports, a U.S. state office in Korea performs

a number of trade supporting activities such as acting like an agent, distributor search, background checks of potential importers, product viability research, participation at local trade shows on behalf of state exporters, etc. For the investment promotion side, the Korea office of a state creates investment seminars, performs outreach to potential investors and does other promotional activities according to their particular state policy. What is the most challenging part of representing a state in Korea? Korean business culture is very unique and human networking is still essential to doing business in



KBLA Community Korea. A recommendation from the community and after-work gathering with business people is important. In other words, beside the business itself and for a better business, state representatives should spend their extra time and effort to get along with and be a part of Korean business community. Maybe, that’s why the state representatives are usually native Koreans. Do you or other state representatives in Korea feel increased competition from China? Do you feel the US is losing competitiveness in Korea compared to China? For trade side, we feel increased competition from China especially in price. That’s why more and more U.S. traders are focusing on high quality products, highly advanced technology, or niche market products. However, for investment side, it’s a different story. As an investment destination, U.S. is a totally different market from China. Once, the global market meant the U.S. market. Even now there are many industries that require qualification through the U.S. market. So, Korean manufacturers aiming at the global market should still consider entering the U.S. market first.

What can states do to be more successful in doing business in Korea? I like to say that ‘Trade and Investment are like the two sides of a coin’. If the

“Even now there are many industries that require qualification through the U.S. market. So, Korean manufacturers aiming at the global market should still consider entering the U.S. market first. ” trade volume to U.S. market increases, Korean exporters would consider having a local presence, whether it’s a sales office or a manufacturing plant, for various reasons such as delivery, customer service, sales volume increase, acquiring a made in U.S. label, etc. Therefore, state offices in Korea should maintain

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strong relationships with Korean manufacturers and exporters not only to execute their U.S. investment plans, but also to assist them with necessary information and procedures in a timely manner. How does coming to together as a community in ASOK help state representatives be more successful? ASOK was established to promote mutual interest of state offices in Korea and provide an organizational framework for collective action. Korean government agencies, Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), Korea International Trade Association (KITA), Small and Medium Business Corporation (SBC) and numerous industrial institutions and organizations contact ASOK to collaborate on many occasions for the benefit of their members. ASOK holds a U.S. investment seminar twice a year with KCCI and KITA, and additional seminars with industrial institutions. As a member of ASOK, state representatives can join these activities to promote their state, increase state brand awareness, and meet with potential investors. By working as a group, state offices in Korea can gain more attention from the Korean community and have more chances to develop businesses with Korean companies. How is ASOK and the state representatives community

changing as a result of all the changes going on in the Korean and global environment? To fully focus on recruiting new businesses to the state, many states are separating the FDI function from the rest of state government. For example, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) which is a nonprofit public-private partnership under the contract with the North Carolina Department of Commerce, operates the state’s international offices to pursue new FDI projects, sustainable job creation and investment in North Carolina. Wisconsin, Delaware, Louisiana and several other state offices that newly opened their Korea office have the same structure. Accordingly, state offices in Korea become more business focused and result oriented. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us? U.S. state offices in Korea provide not only necessary information for those who want to do business in the U.S. market, but assistance to support their successful localization in the most promising regions in U.S. This will contribute to create jobs of the U.S. as well as assist Korean companies’ globalization and the development of Korean economy. ASOK and each of our member states look forward to more chances to work with Korean companies.



Korea Intelligence | Trade, Finance, & Industry

Important Retail Channel Sales Figures, May 2016 On June 29, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE) issued a report on May 2016 sales for important retail channels. With the exception of convenience stores, major retail channels saw decreased year-on-year sales in May. The report cites fewer holidays in the month (in comparison to the previous year), as well as effects from Oxy boycott campaigns, as potential causes of reduced numbers. The report also notes that due to an increasing sense of comfort with the quality of food products carried by convenience stores, increased patronage by small families and young people, and the fact that said stores are expanding the scope of products and services they offer, convenience stores have seen continuous year-on-year sales growth since April 2014.

With the exception of major holiday periods (the Chuseok holiday in October, and the New Year’s/Seollal holiday in January/early February, and to a lesser extent, increased Chinese and Japanese shopping tourism in late April/ early May), most nonconvenience stores have continuously seen weak or negative year-on-year growth.

Data MOTIE, Chart and Translation KBLA

The report also showed that while the year-on-year growth of new convenience store locations have continued unabated, the growth of sales per location appear to have dropped significantly in recent months.

Data MOTIE, Chart and Translation KBLA

Korea Intelligence | Trade, Finance, & Industry

MFDS Report on the Pharmaceutical Industry, 2011-2015 On June 29, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) issued a report on the development of the pharmaceutical industry over the last five years*. According to the report, the industry has seen increased production of domestically developed new medications over the period, while export growth has largely been driven by sales to Europe; Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, and France in particular. The MFDS states that its efforts to promote regulatory reform and support policies, such as the country’s entry into the Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PICS), have assisted in export growth. Of note, the original report includes detailed lists and figures regarding specific company and medication performance.

Domestic production increased nearly 9% over the period 2011 to 2015, while exports increased 70% over the same period, with an especially large increase in 2015.

Data MFDS, Chart and Translation KBLA

*This is distinct from the report specifically on biopharmaceuticals which MFDS released on May 23. That said, biopharmaceuticals are included for the purposes of this report.



Korea Intelligence | Trade, Finance, & Industry

KIET Forecast for Individual Industry Performance in 2H 2016 On June 23, the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade (KIET) issued its forecast for major industry performance in 2H 2016. For the most part, KIET provides a negative outlook in 2H for major industries; low oil prices, a global economic slowdown, and a slowdown in demand in the developed world will affect most. While exports appear to improve somewhat, domestic demand in some major industries (automobiles, general machinery, petrochemicals), is forecasted to drop sharply year-on-year.

With the exception of displays and food and beverage, the major industries measured are all anticipated to have a negative 2H, especially negative for shipbuilding.

Data KIET, Chart and Translation KBLA

Year-on-year changes in exports remain mostly negative, although less so than in 1H; a few industries are expected to see year-on-year growth. Shipbuilding and semiconductor exports are expected to continue to have poor performance.

Korea Intelligence | Trade, Finance, & Industry

Foreign Investors’ Stock and Bond Investment, June 2016 On July 6, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) released its report on foreign investment in Korean stocks and bonds in June 2016. Per the report: “Foreign investors bought a net KRW 0.5 trillion of listed stocks and sold a net KRW2.7 trillion of listed bonds in June, 2016. The cumulative holdings of listed stocks came to KRW438.1 trillion, 29.4% of total market capitalization. On the other hand, the cumulative bond holdings of KRW96.2 trillion accounted for 6.0% of the total listed bonds.” Foreign investors sold large amounts of Korean stocks immediately following the Brexit, but purchased purchased more at the end of the month.

The UK led net-buying in June by a large margin, purchasing a net 700 billion KRW in Korean stock, with Europe as a whole purchasing 1.29 trillion KRW in Korean stock. Meanwhile, China and the Middle East, and Australia, were net sellers of Korean stocks.

Data and Charts FSS



Korea Intelligence | Trade, Finance, & Industry

Foreign Buyers’ Evaluation of Korean Goods On July 18, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) issued the results of a survey it conducted of 961 buyers (professional importers) from 79 different countries regarding their attitudes toward the competitiveness of Korean goods. The report found that Korean products do well in evaluations on their design and quality for the cost; they do less well when it comes to overall cost (displaced by cheaper products from developing countries), and brand recognition (displaced by well-known European and American products).

Data KOTRA, Chart and Translation KBLA

Buyers from China and North America gave Korean products high marks for design, while those in North America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East said they had good product quality for the price. Korean electronics were given high marks for function and design, while lifestyle goods and pharmaceutical products were rated high as providing high quality for the cost.

The report came to a number of conclusions and recommendations for how to increase competitiveness of various Korean goods in respective markets.

Data KOTRA, Chart and Translation KBLA

Korea Intelligence | Trade, Finance, & Industry

SME Opinions on Minimum Wage On June 29, Korea Federation of SMEs (KBIZ) issued the results of a survey it conducted of 335 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) regarding hypothetical minimum wage increases in 2017. A slight majority of respondents stated that the current minimum wage is too high, with large percentages anticipating negative outcomes for their businesses should an additional minimum wage increase be applied in 2017. Of note, the current minimum wage is 6,030 KRW per hour, up 8% from the 2015 minimum wage of 5,580 KRW per hour.

A majority believe that the current 2016 minimum wage is too high; over half of respondents believe that the minimum wage for 2017 should stay at its current level; fewer than ten percent of respondents believed in should be raised more than 4%.

Data KBIZ, Chart and Translation KBLA

Slightly fewer than half of respondents indicated that a minimum wage increase would affect their hiring or employment; it would either reduce additional hiring or necessitate the trimming of the current workforce. Only about ten percent indicated that they would be able to absorb the increase with little or no negative impacts.

Data KBIZ, Chart and Translation KBLA



Korea Intelligence | Economics

Youth Employment in May 2016 On July 21, Statistics Korea issued its supplementary materials on the Economically Active Population Survey for May 2016, specifically for young adults and senior citizens. As a whole, the economically active population and economic activity rate for those 15-29 years old increased year-onyear, as did both the employment and unemployment rates. Over half of young adults who had attended college and that have work experience are working in jobs in which their college major has little or no relation to duties performed.

Of the 1.42 million young adults not in employment (college graduates/ dropouts) cited in the report, slightly fewer than half had been unemployed for less than six months. Of those unemployed, nearly half were in job training or actively looking for work, while one-third were either “just passing time� or engaged in other activities.

Data Statistics Korea, Table and Translation KBLA

Korea Intelligence | Economics

BOK Economic Outlook for 2H 2016 On July 14, the Bank of Korea (BOK) released its English-language economic outlook for 2H 2016. Key details are as follows: “In view of recent changes in global and domestic economic conditions, it is forecast that real GDP in Korea will increase by 2.7 percent in 2016 and by 2.9 percent in 2017. However, the pace of economic recovery is expected to be moderate due to uncertainties concerning the domestic and global economies. Headline consumer prices are expected to rise by 1.1 percent in 2016, with 0.9 percent in the first half and 1.3 percent in the second half. However, they are projected to rise by 1.9 percent in 2017 due to diminishing downward pressures from lower oil prices and the gradual economic recovery. The current account balance is projected to be around 95 billion dollars in 2016, and around 80 billion dollars in 2017. “

“Real GDP growth is projected to be 2.7 percent in 2016. While the Korean economy has recovered from its sluggish growth seen during the first quarter, the pace of economic recovery is expected to be moderate in the second half due to uncertainties concerning the domestic and global economies. Economic growth is projected to be 2.9 percent next year, supported by a gradual improvement of the global economy.”

Data BOK

“The net contribution of domestic demand (2.4%p) to the rate of GDP growth appears to be much larger than that of exports (0.3%p). The rate of growth in gross domestic income (GDI) (3.6%) will exceed that of GDP growth (2.7%) in 2016, thanks to improvements in the terms of trade resulting from the oil price decline.”

Data BOK



Korea Intelligence | Economics

KERI Revises 2016 GDP Growth Estimate From 2.6% to 2.3% On June 29, the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) issued its revised estimate for Korea’s estimated 2016 GDP growth. The report revised down growth expectation previously made in March 2016; the 2016 annual GDP growth was downgraded from 2.6% to 2.3%, with predicted growth in 2H dropping to 1.9%.

Data KERI, Chart and Translation KBLA

KERI cited increased external issues, such as a weakening Chinese economy, uncertainty over an expected US interest rate increase, and additional risks associated with the Brexit, as its major justifications for revising down 2H growth (and 2016 annual growth overall). While KERI acknowledged government policies to promote internal demand, it predicts that a National Assembly with no clear majority, and ongoing corporate restructuring, will limit the effects of such policies. KERI predicts that prices will rise slightly in 2H, due to anticipated increases in the exchange rate and the price of oil, but that the increases will not be as large as initially predicted.

Data KERI, Chart and Translation KBLA


Korea Intelligence | Technology

Smartphone Overdependence in 2015 On June 21, the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (MSIP) and the National Information Society Agency (NIA) issued its 2015 survey on internet and smartphone overdependence*. While pre-teens and teenagers (ages 10 to 19) were most likely to be overdependent on their smartphones, the percentages of adults judged to have been so have also steadily risen over the last several years. Income level also offered some insights on such a dependency, with those in lower income brackets more likely to be dependent, with the notable exception that adults and small children in the highest income bracket tended towards overdependency. Interestingly, overdependent users only used their smartphones slightly more (in terms of time) on an average day when compared to regular users.

Of 16,688 smartphone users surveyed, an average of 16.2% were judged to be overdependent on smartphones, along with nearly one-third of those ages 10 to 19.

Data Statistics MSIP/NIA, Chart and Translation KBLA

The report determined that teenagers from lowincome homes, and small children and adults from high-income homes, were the most likely to be at risk for smartphone overdependence.

Data Statistics MSIP/NIA, Chart and Translation KBLA

Korea Intelligence | Technology Of interest, there was not a large difference in terms of average daily smartphone usage between overdependent and regular users, with the former using their smartphones for only about 30 minutes more per day.

Data Statistics MSIP/NIA, Chart and Translation KBLA

In terms of the popularity of certain activities, overdependent users tended to mirror regular users, although they were slightly more inclined to do most things - most especially playing games, listening to music, and watching movies and television. Overdependent users were less likely to use their smartphones to search for news stories, purchase things, or conduct financial transactions. Most of these trends can likely be at least partially explained by the large share of young people among overdependent users. Data Statistics MSIP/NIA, Chart and Translation KBLA



Korea Intelligence | Risk Management

KFTC 2015 Statistics Yearbook On July 11, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) published its 2015 statistics yearbook. Per the report, the KFTC handled 4,367 cases and levied a total of 588.9 billion KRW in sanctions in 2015. Of the 4,367 cases handled, 2,661 (60.9%) resulted in at least a warning being issued to one party. Cases referencing the Fair Transactions in Subcontracting Act made up over forty percent of all cases handled, and saw a large year-on-year increase. According to the report, the KFTC won roughly three-quarters of all court cases in brought in which judgements were rendered in 2015.

Cases involving either the Fair Transactions in Subcontracting Act or the Fair Transactions in Franchise Business Act made up over half of those the KFTC handled in 2015, with both such case types seeing significant year-onyear increases.

Data KFTC, Chart and Translation KBLA

According to the report, the KFTC won roughly threequarters of the court cases it was involved with in which judgement was rendered in 2015. Of note, the report does not clarify the levels of the courts overseeing said cases (District Court, High Court, Supreme Court, etc.). Data KFTC, Chart and Translation KBLA

Korea Intelligence | Risk Management While the number of cases in which sanctions were levied increased almost 80%, the total amount of said sanctions decreased by over 25%; corrective orders and self-correction orders increased as means of administrative correction.

Data KFTC, Chart and Translation KBLA



Korea Intelligence | Infrastructure/Transportation

Online Maps to Be Made Available for Free On July 13, the (Korea) National Geographic Information Institute, part of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT) announced that beginning on July 15 they would provide free online copies of roughly 50,000 1:1000 scale digital maps of the country via their website. The measure, which will reduce the costs of said maps from roughly 12,000 to 13,500 KRW per sheet to nothing, is apparently intended as part of an overall initiative to promote industrial development and job creation.

Per the report, mapping for the entirety of Korea’s city-level local governances, which would have previously cost a total of roughly 300 million KRW, will now be available online for free. Hard copies of the maps will also be discounted, from roughly 12,000 to 13,500 KRW per map, to 500 KRW per map.

Elevated Section of National Route 36 Opened On July 18, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT) announced the July 20 opening of a two-lane, 20.8 kilometer section of elevated roadway on National Route 36. The section, on which construction began in February 2009, connects Socheon-myeon in Bonghwa County and Gumgangsong-myeon in Uljin

County, both in North Gyeongsang Province, and reportedly cost 294.1 billion KRW. The new highway is expected to reduce commute times from 50 minutes to 20 minutes, and the distance traveled from 32 to 21 kilometers.

Four-lane Section of National Route 1 Opened On July 5, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT) announced the July 7 opening of a new 21.3 kilometer four-lane section of National Route 1, connecting Jangseong County and Jeongeup (City). Construction began in December 2005, and reportedly cost 253.4 billion KRW.

The new section is expected to reduce commute times from 41 to 16 minutes, and the distance traveled from 26.4 to 21.3 kilometers.

Korea Intelligence | Infrastructure/Transportation

Korail to Acquire 48 Train Cars for Gyeonggang Line On July 21, Korail announced that it had begun the process of acquiring a total of 48 new electric train cars to be put into operation on the 57-kilometer Gyeonggang Line between Seongnam (Pangyo) and Yeoju. The train cars, which will have a top speed of 110 kilometers per hour, will be capable of accommodating 150 passengers each car, and will be organized into twelve, four-car trains (for a total of 600 passengers per train). Formal acquisition of the train cars is slated to be completed by this coming September.

The Gyeonggang Line, which is designed to service the Gyeonggi Province suburbs south of Seoul, to include Seongnam, Gwangju, and Yeoju, will connect with the Shinbundang Line at Pangyo Station, and terminate (for now) at Yeoju Station (in that city). Per several local media reports, the Gyeonggang Line was planned to begin operations sometime this summer, although there appear to have been delays on that time line. The Korail press release does not give a specific opening date for the line, stating that it “plans to begin service after consulting with local governments and relevant institutions.”

MOLIT Comprehensive Plan for National Roads On July 13, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT) held a public meeting at the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements (KRIHS) outlining the former’s “1st Comprehensive Plan for National Roads.” The plan outlines a few major goals and policy directions to be met by the year 2020: - Achieve 5,000 kilometers in highspeed freeways (고속도로).

- Ensure that 78% of the country’s land, and 96% of the country’s people, are within 30 minutes of a high-speed freeway. - Ensure that all of the country’s bridges have been retrofitted against seismic disturbances - Reduce times of peak congestion on side roads by 41% - Fully implement “smart tolling.”



Korea Intelligence | Real Estate

2H 2016 Housing Market Predictions On July 20, the Korea Appraisal Board (KAB) issued its report on real estate trends from 1H 2016 and predictions for 2H 2016. For the most part, the report seems to emphasize that uncertainty will likely be countered by historically low interest rates to keep the housing market relatively stable in 2H 2016, while 2016 activity as a whole will likely decrease year-on-year. Details are as follows: Housing Sales Prices The report anticipates that Brexit may cause a short-term contraction in willingness to purchase new properties, but that demand buoyed by the lowest base interest rate in history (1.25%, dropped from 1.50% in June 2016), will likely serve to continue stabilizing prices. Sales Market Again, while negative factors such as Brexit increasing uncertainty in

the domestic market, increased regulations on loan evaluations, and a weak domestic real economy may cause consumers to develop a “wait-and-see� attitude, the report anticipates that low interest rates and policies to expand liquidity will serve to continue stabilizing action. That said, the number of transactions in 2016 appears set to decrease year-on-year. Rental Market Key money prices will continue to rise, albeit at a slower rate than in 2015. Regional differences in supply and demand will lead to rising rates, but increases in new supply and the stability of the housing market will ensure that the increase in key money prices is limited. In addition, low interest rates will cause a large number of key money rentals to convert to monthly rental schemes.

Data KAB, Chart and Translation KBLA

Korea Intelligence | Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate Trends in 2Q 2016 On July 28, the Korea Appraisal Board (KAB) published its figures on commercial real estate trends in 2Q 2016. The report assesses that nationwide, office rental rates have dropped slightly year-on-year due to delayed economic recovery, but that a slight recovery in private consumption, due in part to designated public holidays, has led to a slight increase on retail rental rates. Ongoing restructuring issues, particularly with

the shipbuilding industry, have led to rental rates dropping in Ulsan and Geoje Island, while vacancy rates in both places have increased. Nationwide, the average office space cost 14,800 KRW per square meter to rent in 2Q 2016, while large retail spaces cost 31,100 KRW per square meter, and small retail spaces cost 16,500 KRW per square meter.

Vacancy rates in Gyeonggi Province were extremely low (between five and seven percent), while several regions in the country’s interior (North Chungcheong Province, North Jeolla Province, Daejeon) and Ulsan saw roughly onequarter of all office space stand empty. Daejeon and Gangwon Province were the only areas to see doubledigit vacancy rates across all types of commercial real estate. Data KAB, Chart and Translation KBLA



Korea Intelligence | Real Estate

Apartments Gaining New Occupants, August-October 2016 On July 19, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT) announced that it expects occupants to move into a total of 71,406 apartment units during the threemonth period, August to October 2016. Slightly less than half will be in the

Seoul Capital Area (to include 6,600 in Seoul itself), with the remainder in other regions. Note that, for reference, the original report contains lists breaking down regions and apartment complexes in detail.

Data MOLIT, Chart and Translation KBLA

Data MOLIT, Chart and Translation KBLA


Legal Analysis

Intellectual Property in Franchising: The Core Asset of a Franchisor Franchising is an adaptive, effective, and powerful business model that offers franchisors with incomparable strategic possibilities for domestic and international expansion and market penetration. In certain industries, such as pizza delivery, fried chicken delivery, and convenience store industries, franchising has become the dominant business model. The stereotypical view of franchising, however, as a business model unique to fast-food and convenience store industries would be outdated, and certainly, would detract from the importance and popularity of franchising in the modern business environment. Over the past decade in Korea, franchising has expanded dramatically across various industry sectors including hospitality, restaurant, fast food, apparel, and others. In fact, statistics published in early 2015 by the Korean Fair Trade Commission (“KFTC”), the government agency with regulatory oversight of the franchise industry, demonstrates the growing pervasiveness of franchising in Korea. According to the KFTC, as of the end of 2014, there were over 3,500 registered franchisors in Korea accounting for nearly 4,300 different franchise brands. Franchisors, collectively, owned over 13,000 company-owned units and had nearly 200,000 franchised units. These figures would only have increased in 2015 and will undoubtedly continue to increase in 2016. Why is franchising so popular? One reason is that franchising provides major benefits to the franchisors and franchisees. For the franchisors, franchising is a vehicle to exploit the franchisor’s intellectual

property and related rights, including trademarks, patents, trade secrets, copyrights, and designs. Meanwhile, the franchisees gain the opportunity to acquire a tried and tested business, largely in the form of intellectual property, with an established reputation and goodwill in the market. Furthermore, the franchisees can benefit from various support mechanisms made available by the franchisors in the form of advertising, education, and training in operating the franchised business. The value and success of franchising, for both the franchisors and franchisees, depend substantially on the underlying intellectual property. The protection, development, and management of intellectual property, therefore, are of paramount importance. This fact is unambiguously reflected in the way that that the term “franchise” is defined under the Korean franchise law, the Fair Transactions in Franchise Business Act (“Franchise Act”). Specifically, to be deemed as a “franchise,” there must exist: (1) A license to the trademark and/ or service mark and the franchise system; (2) A certain quality standard or method for operating the business (i.e., franchise system); (3) A form of support, education or training on the management and operations of the business; and (4) A payment of fees in consideration of all of the above. Stated differently, under the Franchise Act, a “franchise” is a business in which the franchisee operates the franchisor’s franchised business – the franchisor’s brand – while paying fees for the right to use the franchisor’s intellectual property in accordance with the franchisor’s

Legal analysis provided by Lee & Ko.

Legal Analysis franchise system standards. The emphasis on intellectual property through the franchisor’s brand, which finds expression through trademarks and services marks, and also, the franchise system, which represents the franchisor’s technical trade secrets, know-hows, and other methods of doing business, cannot be missed. Intellectual property is the core asset of franchisors. Principal Categories of Intellectual Property Intellectual property right is the ability to exclude others from using the underlying intellectual property. The ability to control and exclude others from using the intellectual property is fundamental to franchising, and this ability to prevent unauthorized use serves as the basis for franchisors to receive royalties and for franchisees to gain the competitive advantage in the market. In the context of franchising, intellectual property falls into four main categories: trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, and patents. Trademarks – and the associated goodwill – are almost always of paramount importance followed by trade secrets, copyrights, and patents. Nevertheless, the other categories of intellectual property have substantial significance. Trade secrets often include confidential information relating to technological know-how, methods of doing business, item lists, marketing and research information, and other information that must be protected to create and maintain the competitive advantage for the franchisors and franchisees. Moreover, copyrights are often triggered in matters related to various business aspects of running the franchised business, including the creation of advertising and promotional materials, reports, training materials, and operations manuals. Patents can be important when the franchised business involves, for instance, the use of the franchisor’s proprietary equipment. Given the importance of trademarks over other types of intellectual property in franchising, the focus of

this Article will be on trademarks. A trademark (or a service mark) is a word, phrase, symbol, design (including sound or smell), or combination thereof that a particular business uses to identify and distinguish its goods or services from the goods or services offered by others. A trademark or service mark creates identity and recognition for the franchisor; it is the franchisor’s brand that facilitates the development of customer loyalty, which in turn, translates into tangible profits. Trademarks, therefore, are often viewed as the most important asset of a franchise system, and today, some of the world’s most famous trademarks, such as Subway, McDonald’s, IKEA, and Marriott, are in the hands of franchisors. Fundamentally, trademarks represent an embodiment of goodwill associated with particular goods or services. This goodwill must be protected for trademarks to serve the function of conveying valuable data to consumers, and also, to reduce the costs of acquiring information on particular goods or services. The Korean trademark law – the Trademark Act – protects one’s right to use its trademarks to identify the source of goods or services and prevent competitors and other third parties from adopting and using confusingly similar trademarks. Because trademark rights are given protection on a national basis, it is important to register the trademarks with the trademark registrar at the Korean Intellectual Property Office (“KIPO”) to ensure that a franchisor is entitled to the greatest scope of legal protection. In terms of trademark registration, Korea is a “first-to-file” jurisdiction; only the first trademark application is entitled to registration when two or more applications for identical goods or services are filed for registration. Because trademark rights are strictly territorial, trademark registration in one country does not confer protection



Legal Analysis elsewhere. To obtain the strongest legal protection, a franchisor seeking to franchise in Korea is advised to register its trademarks with KIPO as early as possible and before licensing the trademarks for use by the franchisees. Although registration of the trademark is not technically required before licensing the trademarks, it is highly recommended that a franchisor registers its most important trademarks. Under limited circumstances, it is also possible to acquire enforceable rights for a trademark without registration. Specifically, under the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secrets Protection Act (“UCPA”), unregistered trademarks that are well-known in Korea can be entitled to legal protection. However, it is difficult to prove that the unregistered trademark is “wellknown” in Korea. Therefore, relying upon the UCPA should not be a substitute for securing trademark registrations. Finally, there are no particular requirements or formalities for granting a valid trademark license in Korea. Moreover, when franchisors license trademarks to the franchisees, it is not mandatory for the trademark license to be recorded with the KIPO. Although license recordation does offer certain limited benefits, chiefly the ability to use the trademark exclusively and to enforce the trademark license against any person who subsequently acquires the trademark rights or an exclusive license to the licensed trademarks, license recordation is not necessary to validate the trademark license. Convergence of Intellectual Property and Competition Laws The Franchise Act is the primary statute that governs franchising in Korea. It is, however, not the only relevant piece of legislation; additionally, the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (“MRFTA”), Korean Commercial Act, and various regulations promulgated by the KFTC are applicable.

Moreover, general principles of tort and contract law that exist within the Korean Civil Code are also applicable. In particular, the Franchise Act was drafted to incorporate certain provisions of the MRFTA regarding general principles of fair trade. The

Franchise Act is the more specialized law of the MRFTA specific to the franchise industry, and as such, it places specific restrictions on the business practices of the franchisors. For instance, a franchisor may not, whether directly or through another enterprise, commit any act which may obstruct fair trade in the franchised business, including unreasonable (i) refusal to transact, (ii) transactions with restrictive terms, or (iii) abuse of bargaining power. Of particular interest in the discussion of intellectual property in the context of franchising is the KFTC’s “Guidelines for Evaluating Unfair Practices on Intellectual Property Rights” (“Guidelines”). These Guidelines prohibit certain unfair trade practices concerning the franchisor’s exercise of intellectual property rights. Not infrequently, the franchisors include a “grant-back clause” in the franchise agreements. This type of provision requires the franchisee – the licensee of the franchisor’s intellectual property – to disclose and transfer all improvements developed by the franchisee on the licensed intellectual property back to the franchisor. Such grant-back clause provides a means for the franchisor to protect its intellectual property, and generally, is considered acceptable. An improperly drafted grant-back clause, however, could be interpreted to produce outcomes that are anticompetitive, and therefore, the Guidelines provide that a grant-back clause must be closely scrutinized for any unfair trade consequences. In particular, the Guidelines stipulate that it is an unfair trade practice for the owner of the intellectual property, as the licensor, to unfairly demand any know-how, experience, or technological achievements that the licensee independently developed based on the licensed intellectual property. An example of such unfair

Legal Analysis demand would be to compel the transfer of rights to the improvements back to the licensor automatically without any compensation or consideration to the licensee. In determining whether a grant-back clause is reasonable, and therefore, valid, the KFTC will apply a “rule of reason” and evaluate several aspects of the grant-back clause included in a franchise agreement. These aspects include, for instance: whether the grant back is exclusive or non-exclusive; whether the franchisee has rights to use the improvements under an exclusive grant back, whether there is compensation for the grant back, and whether the franchisor and franchisee are competitors in the same industry. Given the multitude of factors, it is not typically easy to find that a grant-back clause is unfair and unreasonable unless in the extreme cases (e.g., scope of the grant back is egregiously incommensurate with the scope of the original license).

is an improperly drafted grant-back clause in the franchise agreement that could be interpreted as having an anticompetitive effect. A full discussion of intellectual property in franchising is certainly beyond the scope of this Article. It is important, however, to understand that licensing of intellectual property is the cornerstone of any franchise transaction. Franchisors seeking to expand their businesses domestically and abroad must be aware of and proactively pursue legal and business strategies that maximize and protect the value of their intellectual property. Failure to do so may result in disastrous consequences for the franchisor, and more critically, to the franchised brand itself, which built on the robustness of the underlying intellectual property.

Grant-back clause, in essence, is a means for the franchisor to innovate the franchisor’s brand, and concurrently, to ensure that the franchisees would not later become a competitor by utilizing the improvements made to the original licensed intellectual property. However, a franchisor may find itself under the KFTC’s crosshairs if there

Terry KIM Associate Terry KIM is a foreign legal counsel and member of the IP and Healthcare Practice Groups. Mr. Kim focuses his practice on all aspects of IP enforcement with a particular emphasis on patent litigation, counseling, and licensing in the areas of biotechnology, chemical, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. Mr. Kim works closely with both domestic and international clients seeking to enforce their IP rights in Korea, and also, is well-experienced in IP transfer and licensing in cross-border transactions. In addition, as a member of the Healthcare Practice Group, Mr. Kim counsels both innovator and generic pharmaceutical companies with strategic advice on regulatory compliance.

Sun CHANG Partner Sun CHANG is a partner in the IP Group. He is well-respected in the Korean legal community for his expertise in IP licensing and trade secret protection. Since joining Lee & Ko in 2000 Mr. Chang has represented a number of multinational corporations including Samsung Electronics, Samsung Heavy Industries, Hanmi Pharmaceutical, Eli Lilly, Nautilus Hyosung in patent litigations. In particular, in TransOcean v. Samsung Heavy Industries, he successfully defended Samsung in a claim alleging infringement of TransOcean’s patent for a drilling ship device for multi-tasking exploratory or developmental drilling, and invalidated TransOcean’s patent.



Asan Institute Retrospect

Searching for Answers to South Korea’s Challenges This month’s review examines how South Korea has had to deal with challenges ranging from North Korea, Brexit and economic restructuring. While there is no final resolution on any of these matters, some of the developments reveal how the leadership intends to move forward on all these fronts in the coming months.

that partisan affiliation is a critical intervening factor, with 74% and 48% of supporters for the New Frontier Party (NFP) and People’s Party (PP), respectively, approving the THAAD decision. Supporters of the Together Democratic Party (TDP) and the Justice Party (JP) tended to oppose the decision, with 50% and 58% disapproving, respectively.

Authors Han Minjeong, Eun A Jo, J. James Kim,


On July 8, Seoul and Washington announced their decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea by the end of 2017. The decision came two weeks after North Korea test fired its intermediate range missile, Musudan. In response to the announcement, North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), which failed in the early stage of flight. The government designated Seongju, approximately 300 kilometers south of Seoul, as the location for THAAD. Local residents have strongly opposed the decision, citing health risks from exposure to electromagnetic waves. As antiTHAAD demonstrations continue, ex-opposition leader Ahn Cheolsoo stated that the government should “seriously consider putting the decision to a public vote.” In addressing such objections, President Park responded, “It is time to stop unnecessary dispute regarding the THAAD decision.” She also added, “Our government will continue to listen to and communicate with the residents of Seongju in the process of deploying THAAD.” A recent survey on THAAD reveals that 50% of the respondents are supportive, while 32% are opposed. The survey also suggests

Brexit Impact

The initial impact of the Brexit referendum on June 23 was negative as the KOSPI index fell by 3.4% during June 22-24. KOSDAQ benchmark also dropped by 5.9% over the same period. The authorities from the Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF) stated that South Korea has enough capacity to deal with a shock to the financial market. However, uncertainties may arise during the negotiations process on the UK’s exit from the EU, triggering subsequent fall outs (e.g. Grexit or Frexit). For now, the government is poised to prevent volatility in the financial market from spilling into the real economy.

Restructuring and Employment

Shipping companies are in the final phase of the conditional voluntary workout. Creditors demanded the two largest firms to meet three requirements before converting their investments to stocks: i) lower charter rates; ii) reduce

Source: Gallup Korea Daily Opinion

Asan Institute Retrospect debt and increase liquidity; and iii) join a shipping alliance. Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) met all three conditions and the creditors will move to implement the debt-equity swap and extend the maturity on loans. The largest creditor, KDB, will become the largest shareholder as a result of this arrangement. Hanjin Shipping, on the other hand, is struggling to lower charter rates and increase liquidity. Hanjin is thinking about requesting an extension on the current negotiation deadline, which is scheduled for August 4. If left to expire, Hanjin will be placed under court receivership. Restructuring of the shipbuilding sector is expected to have a significant impact on employment as eleven major shipbuilding enterprises and their cooperating companies plan to reduce the workforce by 56~63 thousand by the end of 2017. According to the Ministry of

Employment and Labor, the layoff figures can be readjusted by 20-30 percent. To cushion the blow, the government has instituted a special designation status (i.e. Special Employment Assistance) as of July 1 through which the impacted firm would receive tax breaks and special subsidies amounting to KRW 60 thousand per worker each day (max). Laid off workers without employment insurance will receive special unemployment benefits and gain priority for employment in regional Social Overhead Capital projects. Government estimates suggest that approximately 7,800 firms will benefit from this measure. Unfortunately, the three largest shipbuilding firms, whose labor unions voted to strike in opposition to the layoffs, have been excluded from the special designation status for the time being.



Korea Voices

Korea’s Patent Approval Linkage System- A New Age For IP In Korea In recent years, Korea has been the subject of a number of high profile IP related lawsuits. Burberry filed a lawsuit in Korea against underwear maker SBW, claiming SBW copied Burberry’s trademarked checker patterns. SanDisk and Toshiba filed separate lawsuits against SK Hynix for stealing flash technology. Kolon was sued by Dupont for trade secret theft as well, which resulted in a $950 million verdict against Kolon in the U.S. The verdict was overturned on appeal with the parties entering into a settlement agreement. And of course, the Apple v Samsung litigation is perhaps the most famous litigation involving trade dress as it has mushroomed out to involve cases in various jurisdictions. Despite Korea’s IP laws and numerous governmental agencies that can assist in IP infringement actions, such laws were rarely used domestically. In the past, Korean companies have refused to aggressively use IP laws to enforce their patent and trademark rights as they wanted to avoid litigation and the perception they were using the law against domestic counterparts. In essence, they did not want to be viewed domestically as taking advantage of IP rights for political or economic gain. Even today, many Korean companies, except for a few Chaebols, refuse to aggressively exercise IP rights, even though they may have cause to do so. However, things may be changing- in the Korean pharmaceutical industry at least. On March 15, 2015, Korea amended the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act to implement the Patent Approval Linkage System. Patterned after the US law- “The Hatch-Waxman Act”, the Patent Approval Linkage System (the “Act”) allows a generic manufacturer ( the “Generics”) of certain drugs to obtain an exclusive manufacturing license to manufacture the drugs and/or to invalidate an original manufacturer’s patents provided it complies with the Act. The Act also provides a mechanism for original manufacturers of drugs ( the “Innovators”) to contest

a Generic’s application for the exclusive manufacturing license. In essence, the Hatch Waxman Act expanded the process for approving generic versions of drugs and provided for the legitimate extension of existing patents under the process. Prior to the Act going into effect last year, Korean pharmaceutical companies filed numerous lawsuits to invalidate the patents of the original manufacturers as well as to obtain confirmation of the right to manufacture generic drugs. In fact, the number of pharmaceutical patent related filings increased to over 125 in 2014 from 38 in 2013. That is a four- fold increase. Clearly, Korean pharmaceutical companies are becoming very aggressive when it comes to asserting patents or filing patent invalidation claims. Though Korean companies are the 5th largest filers of patent applications in the world (number 2 in the US) many Korean companies in the past would rarely take legal action against infringers. But as the tremendous uptick in pharmaceutical patent related filings show, Korean companies are starting to assert IP rights and protections which will hopefully lead to an enforceable IP regime. Much like the Hatch Waxman Act, the amendments to Korea’s Pharmaceutical Affairs Act represents a compromise between the interests of the pioneer drug companies who invested great sums of money into R&D and the Generics that provide drugs at a lower price for the benefit of the consumer. In essence, Korea’s IP regime is starting to mature with Korean companies starting to take advantage of changes in the patent laws to start filing patent applications as well as asserting IP rights under those laws. At least in Korea’s pharmaceutical industry, companies (whether Generics or Innovators) are beginning to see the benefits of enforcing IP rights which may lead to a more aggressive IP enforcement regime.

Bryan Hopkins Special Counsel, Lee & Ko


Korea Voices

Kreating the Konditions for a Kreative K-Brand For several years in Alaska in the 1990s, I directed an international new music festival that had me perpetually on the hunt for government grants and corporate sponsors. Not unlike an American elected official, during these years I spent as much time trying to raise enough money to keep my project running as I did running my project. This was at a time when the state had money left over to support the arts after paying every man, woman, and child a $1,000-$3,000 annual dividend on North Slope petroleum profits. In those days of oil-fired abundance, some new category of publicly funded grant would frequently be announced, sending little organizations like mine skittering from all corners of our sprawling state to fight for a small fresh share of the oil spoils. At its inception, we had christened our organization “CrossSound,” a musical double entendre that referred to a body of water just north of us—an estuarial melting pot called Cross Sound where fresh water and grit flowing off the shrinking ice in Glacier Bay spill out into and mix with the ocean channel that traverses the bay’s mouth. An “estuarial melting pot” of international influence—this image captured well our aspirations. As in our organizational title, we subsequently aspired to weave local geographical metaphors into everything we did. One year, we titled our program “Refugium,” alluding to a piece of remote habitat occupied by a formerly widespread species (like traditional national musics); another year, “Maroon Settings,” alluding to the isolated Southeast Alaskan communities our festival traveled around to (a la New Music’s isolation amid today’s global pop mainstream). But the level of creativity we reached in coming

up with these project concepts would never quite be matched by an equally creative capacity to persuade grant makers to give us enough money. Eventually, after oil prices began to drop and the pipeline flow slowed to a trickle, so did we—but not before producing a series of very successful concerts and gaining some international acclaim in New Music circles. During the period CrossSound was still alive and well, the National Endowment for the Arts developed the “Creative Communities” grant, intended to support “individuals with grit [working] as change-makers in their communities—using arts and culture as vehicles to drive physical and social transformations.” An organization with grit need not apply. Closer to home around that time, Alaska’s Rasmuson Foundation instituted the “Creative Ventures Fund,” designed to “advance the creative excellence of artists and cultural institutions in Alaska” and “grounded in the Foundation’s belief that, through the arts, we unleash the power of the imagination, stimulate innovation and discover new horizons.” The Creative Ventures Fund’s grant announcement stated the grant maker’s intent “not [to] support the status quo, but encourage organizations to pursue collaborations, tours, commissions of new work, and other creative programming endeavors that have heretofore been difficult to undertake.” Imagine my excitement upon reading those words—I myself couldn’t have crafted a grant better matched to CrossSound’s work. All we were doing at the time was touring, collaborating internationally, and pursuing new ideas through commissioning new works from composers from around the world for new ensembles that combined non-Western soloists and local

Professor Jocelyn Clark Professor, Pai Chai University KBLA Arts Ambassador

Korea Voices ensembles of mostly Western instruments. When I applied for the grant, however, I learned that we had been found to be ineligible because our series of concerts, which each year assembled a fresh assortment of international composers and soloists, and local players to create and collaborate together, had been going on for years, ironically rendering us “status quo.” These examples, taken together, demonstrate how support for individual artists working in isolation and encouragement of perpetual newness and experimentation have historically taken precedence over funding entities that have made a long-term commitment to nurturing the conditions for artistic collaboration and creativity. After 10 years of running CrossSound “on a shoestring,” I had ground myself up into grit so true that Rooster Cockburn would likely have run for his horse in shame and insecurity at the sight of me. After my neighbor fixed the broken wheel on my gayageum case for me, I rolled back over to Korea and got me some health care. Still here, I watched on July 4th of this year as the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism launched a new national brand: “Creative Korea.” We turned out the neon light on 2002’s “Dynamic Korea” and switched on Korea’s fluorescent new sign. As the writers were quick to point out, the logo for Creative Korea, which resembles the national flag, with the words “creative” and “Korea” written one atop the other in red and blue, turned out to be uncomfortably similar to the logo of “Creative France,” which launched in October 2015 in Japan. “Imitation may be the highest form of flattery” when the duplication is respectful and authorized, but, in today’s world, as Melania Trump will be the first to tell you, flat out copying for personal or financial gain just won’t do. However, since, according to the “Korea Herald,” 3.5 billion won (2.99 million dollars) have already been invested in the change from

“dynamic” to “creative,” the knockoff logo is destined to be with us for at least as long as the F’s I place on my students’ plagiarized papers will be on their academic transcripts. So what’s really at stake here? What does Korea gain by branding itself creative like the French (and what do the French have to gain)? Is the nation celebrating the creative spirit of its ancestors—e.g., the invention of Hangeul in 1446? Or are we promoting an aspiration—a creative future? On these questions, the French make themselves clear: “[Creative France] highlights our country’s full range of strengths, skills and savoir faire. And for good reason—France is at the forefront of technology, design, industry and education . . . It’s the story of France today: solid fundamentals enhanced by an outstanding ability to innovate and a constant push to break new ground.” Meanwhile in Korea, a month after the rollout of the new slogan, we have only newspaper photos of young women in retrocotton hanbok, posing in front of the new Creative Korea logo as we await an explanation as to what is really meant by the newly crowd-sourced brand and what will be happening to ensure it becomes truth and not just “truthiness.” “Creativity” is such a nice, trendy term—the rare word that carries no negative connotations. We all want to join the “creative class.” But how do we get it so that we get there? This is the question the powersthat-be in Korea will have to tackle if they are to make a reality worthy of the brand. Will it be by following the path of the U.S. grant makers cited above and favoring support for individuals and experimentation? Or will sufficient resources be put toward nourishing the conditions for creativity across genres nationwide so as to expand the creative class? Louis Pasteur, the 19th century French microbiologist who brought us everlasting milk, the germ theory of disease, and legal cheese, famously said, “Chance favors the



Korea Voices prepared mind” (“Le hasard favorise l’esprit préparé). In other words, creativity is something you work at. It is not something that comes out of nothing. The same goes for “talent.” While some may believe it to be bestowed by God or to otherwise manifest magically out of the ether, most frequently talent too results from hard work. For the mind to “prepare,” as Pasteur puts it, requires time—and practice. And good growing conditions. Next to time and practice, in my own experience, the most creative moments are sparked by challenges—challenges presented by a new environment for sure, but mostly from the new people in the new environment who think about things in a different way than I do, who problem solve in a different way than I do, whose grammar and syntax do not line up in the same way that mine do, whose aesthetics are different than mine, and who have a different perception of color and sound than I. When people come together from different backgrounds—and that is to say in real collaboration—stew, not just diversity salad, i.e., two people vibrating separately in their own universes in close proximity— creativity follows. The collaborative aspect of creativity does not necessarily mean constantly surrounding yourself with people. But something has to be “in the air,” and whatever that is has to be accessible—useable. In the early days of the Internet, for instance, hip-hop made made use of samples from other creators. The song “La Di Da Di” (1984) by Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh, to take one example, has been sampled more than 500 times—first (according to SnoopDogg) by SnoopDogg (who actually covered it), later by Biggy Smalls, and, most recently, by Miley Cyrus and Beyoncé. In my own field of Korean music, it’s worth remembering that, in this country, where the roles of the musician and the composer were traditionally inseparable, the musician-as-

composer did not “compose” but “wove” a musical fabric from the surrounding environment—from strands of sonic “nature.” Methods of transmission made it even more communal. If you look at the history of sanjo, multiple schools (as they would later come to be called) emerged around the same time. Music worked this way in the West as well until the Romantic Period (1780–1910), when suddenly the artist became a “genius,” the work of the genius became an “object,” and copyright laws came into effect. With the advent of the notion of the single individual genius artist/ inventor came commoditization. Art works once created collectively out of the cultural and intellectual environment, while still manifesting the surrounding world (there is no getting away from this fact, after all), suddenly became the property of the individual, with all credit for the invention of the work given to the individual. This created a problem: unlike communal or natural creations, an individual’s closely circumscribed owned object could be stolen. In response arose the patent. Now, Monsanto is allowed to patent its hybrid seeds, Nestlé is allowed to own the world’s drinking water source, and sanjo has to be labeled with a school name that is a teacher’s name (even though most of the sanjo’s content was memorized from the work of that teacher’s teacher). Elsewhere in the world of indigenous art forms, some Indonesians are legally changing their names to well-known Alaska Native artist names in order to sell their cheap knock-offs on the “Authentic Native Art” market. A big part of the problem with sustaining creativity in traditional cultures often comes from breaks in transmission imposed by colonialism or any other moments of historical upheaval, such as war. These breaks, during which all resources must be applied to sheer survival, not only disturb the artists but destroy the expertise held by individual audience members. Once



Korea Voices an informed audience disappears, anyone can cash in on the traditional form without consequence. While ticket prices go up, the quality of the product goes down. “Truthiness” arises out of the same process. As we lose regard for facts, any well-articulated version of reality may be believed. Tourists don’t know the difference between a master Alaskan carver’s work and an Indonesian knock-off. Koreans don’t know the difference between the playing of Sung Geumyeon and anyone else by now. The natural environment from which much of the world’s creative traditions historically took their material is being systematically stripped away. Once the forest is cut down, music (especially traditional music), like a shade plant, loses the canopy that enables it to thrive. The forest’s processes cannot be separated from the processes of the shade plant. Creativity does not grow out of nothing; like all living things, it thrives only under certain essential conditions—e.g., knowledge, a gained familiarity, education (by which I don’t mean schooling, necessarily), hard work, time for hard work, knowledgeable reception of hard work. All of these elements form the creative collective—the incubator that gives birth to those serendipitous moments—solitary and shared—of Eureka! Conversely, lacking the proper conditions, the effort it takes to create in a vacuum can become so overwhelming that the spark fizzles like a sulfur match tip without a strike plate, without oxygen, with only wet logs and rotting kindling. Nothing catches. Back in the 1990s, CrossSound endeavored to provide an environment wherein creativity could manifest—placing composers, musicians, dancers, puppeteers, and poets of multiple generations, races, genders, and countries in the midst of Alaska’s dramatic natural environment, making them comfortable in the homes of local participants, feeding them, and, perhaps most importantly,

providing them time to both commune outdoors and work inside in rehearsals together. In those rehearsals, we inspired each other to awe-inspiring creative heights, which happened when the diverse array of the people we invited came out of the isolation of (and hard work that they had done in) their studios to interact with each other. CrossSound challenged its artists to reach beyond their existing capacities in a new but also safe environment off the radar of the New York Times art critics (they still had those back then) to create something new together. We provided a container for their creativity, and then very often what went on in the created space we provided burned away the container, uniting the organization, the visiting artists, and the community into one creative whole. This model may be worthy of Korea’s consideration, with the Ministry of Culture playing the role of CrossSound, the container comprising the nation’s educational and cultural institutions, and the community becoming the entire country. If consciously led and properly funded, Korea’s new “creative” mantle will be able to go beyond the brand, reclaiming and expanding on the country’s longstanding, deeply rooted creative heritage. This will best be accomplished by not just paying individuals, top-down, to “represent” the K-brand, but by nurturing the conditions creativity requires, including ensuring the arts are a part of every student’s education—not because they will become artists, but because to learn about the arts is to learn about collaboration, grit, excellence, and novelty, which can be applied in every other field. “Creative Korea” begins with not just providing a matchstick, but drawing the sap and arranging the hotwood, the kindling, and the logs to eventually create a nation of individuals ready to start a fire of ideas under every endeavor they attempt.


Korea Voices

Selling Your Company To The Talent Pool! We need Superman to this fill this position, so go out and find him! Search high and low and cover the globe. Find that man! Many executive search professionals, headhunters or recruiters have received this mandate at some time or another in their career. The traditional practice has been to create a job description, make a requisition and then expect Superman to fly to the rescue. This request and receive model has worked well in the purchase of “things” and worked fairly well in the recruitment of “Supermen” and “Wonder Women” (leaders) to fill company vacancies. But that was then and this is now. In the new guerilla war for talent the request and receive model is being replaced with a new a multidirectional approach. A new set of tactics is required to address the changing landscape and win this battle for talent. What is needed now is the advent of a Company Resume. A Company Resume, what’s that? You heard it first here. The number one marketing tool for a jobseeker is the resume or curriculum vitae. What about the other side of the equation, the company? What is the number one marketing tool for the company? Does the company have a resume? That’s a silly notion. Or is it? In the past the typical company has relied on the power of reputation, company web sites, public records, press reports and word of mouth etc. Yet, the average job seeker has very limited knowledge about what it is actually like to work inside the given company. Consider that during the Cold

War the strength and ability of an individual country was a closely guarded secret. This secrecy and uncertainty created much anxiety, stress, and mistrust. Later in history, the Wall came down. Borders were opened for more transparency and commerce. It became more expedient for countries in search of peace and prosperity to openly display their strengths and capabilities than to hide them. In comparison, most of our companies still operate in a Cold War-type atmosphere. Knowing what it is like to work in the company seems to be a closely guard secret and a mystery. This lack of transparency and openness makes it more risky for new potential employees to consider working for the company. It is only after the new employee has made the commitment and is working in the company does he fully realize what he has gotten himself into. The risk of taking the job is higher because of this unknown factor. But does it have to be this way? No. One of the issues causing this problem is the limited amount of resources given towards human resources. According to a study by Dr. John Sullivan, Google has the largest recruitment budget. Google has a ratio of 1 recruiter for every 14 employees (14:1). This surpasses the previous record of 65:1, held by Cisco during the first war for talent in the late 90’s. Note the typical ratio of employees to HR professionals is 100:1. However, the main issue is that the point of most marketing is to sell the company to investors, or customers.

Steve McKinney President, McKinney Consulting

Korea Voices Public relation organs and marketing machines are designed for this purpose. Race the pulse and capture the heart. Win the mind and souls of investors and customers at all costs. Companies willingly spend 10% or more of their operations budget for this conversion of investors and customers. Marketers pitch to their CEO’s, like television evangelists, dig a little deeper and then a little more. Give till it hurts. It will pay off in the end. Our marketers convince their CEO’s that our efforts are absolutely necessary to convert these customers and investors and beat our competitors in the war for their business. However, when it comes to the guerilla war for talent there is limited to no marketing effort. There is this feeling of built it and then they will come. But you have to ask yourself, why is a potential employee or associate interested in my company? Does the Company Resume sell the company well? Or, do you even have a Company Resume to sell your company to potential talent? You can’t rely on what is already in the market. The company’s product benefits, features and/or services are constantly being communicated in the market place. Annual reports describe the business offering and financial health of the company. However, the annual report gives little to no indication about the corporate culture or a description of the idea employee that

would be attracted to the company. The info in the market is not the right information. When is the best time to display the Company Resume? If you wait until the interview process it is too late. Some of the best candidates have already declined to interview. When listing the job is probably one of the good times. When hiring an executive search professional or recruiter is perhaps another good time. Are we hiring the right executive search firm to sell our Company Resume? Do they believe in the company? Do they understand the company well enough to sell it to the right candidates? Are they sincerely interested in our company and its growth or is this just another assignment? The challenge is that if you save the Company Selling to the most promising candidates you won’t ever see the best ones. So, should companies be selling themselves to talent all the time? Just putting the word out and letting the world know “We are an excellent place to be?” Yes. So, how do we do this? In essence, we made the Company Resume, which is our primary marketing tool, similar to how a resume is the primary marketing tool for a job seeker. Now we must devise a marketing plan complete with a budget, marketing brief, strategy and timing with the specific hiring targets and goals of attracting the best employees. We know ‘when’ to sell it now – always. In summary, to win in the guerilla war for talent we must change our tactics to a multidirectional approach. One new tactic should be the creation of a Company Resume, your new marketing tool for attracting the right talent.



Korea Voices

Korea and the Brexit Challenge As this note is being written, it is quite early in the Brexit process, particularly since the new UK minister in charge of Brexit, Mr. David Davis, has announced no timetable nor made public any negotiating agenda. Nor has the Ms. May the new UK prime minister weighed in on the framework of Brexit discussions set forth a public negotiating position for the ministers who can be expected to be part of the UK’s negotiating team along with Mr. Davis such as Boris Johnson, the new foreign minister and Philip Hammond, the new chancellor of the exchequer. It is certain that the process of negotiation will not be completed in the very near term since Ms May has made it clear that the UK will be proceeding cautiously and carefully as it heads towards Brexit. Taking advantage of the interest expressed by the Brexit leaders in the UK, the Korean Finance Minister, Mr. Yoo Il Ho, made it known quite soon after the Brexit vote that his country would be prepared to begin talks quickly with the UK on a new Free Trade Agreement with the UK that would essentially replace the current EU FTA between the UK and South Korea. Korean exports to the UK are currently at about US$ 7 billion, or about 1.4% of total Korean exports, while the UK’s exports to Korea are in the $5 billion range, which would amount to something around 1% of the UK’s total annual global exports. Obviously, there is a great deal of room for expansion of trade on both sides and both countries have a strong incentive to come to some type of trade agreement to ensure that when the UK does exit from the EU, there is a trade arrangement in place that replicates generally the terms of the existing EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement. That would mean that Korean auto, electronics and other industrial products continue to be exported to the UK on very beneficial

terms and likewise the UK’s exports to Korea of whisky, autos, and highend branded goods continue to have good opportunities in Korea. Although banks have suggested that the UK may endure a brief recession as a result of the Brexit vote, this is by no means a certainty and the prospects are good for continued strong UK economic growth despite the possible negative effects of the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process. One example of the resilience of the UK’s economy despite this uncertainty: the recent announcement by the Japanese private equity giant, Softbank, that it will spend about 23 billion pounds to acquire the UK chip and software design company. Other major M&A deals are also being concluded and it is clear that the decline in the pound has acted to spur interest at some foreign companies in looking at opportunities in the UK market since in real terms many assets are now trading at levels that are up to 15% lower than was the case just a few short weeks ago. The new UK government under Prime Minister May has said that there will continue to be a focus on the development of the UK’s commercial relationship not only with its existing EU partner countries but with the rest of the world as well. Australia for one has quickly registered strong interest in opening up trade talks with London to formulate a new post-Brexit trade relationship with the UK. If we consider the Korean economy today as it begins a long and sometimes painful transition from industrial manufacturing to a growing reliance on domestic exports and services exports, there certainly should be some good opportunities for Korea to benefit from Brexit by taking advantage of the new openness of the UK to non-EU trading relationships and investment. Korea’s National Pension Service has already made

Hank Morris Argentarius

Korea Voices impressive returns from some of its investments in recent years in commercial property in the UK, notably its investment in the HSBC Tower which resulted in a gain of 960 billion won for the Pension after only a very few years of holding the property. Other investments have been made in the City of London by KIC and the NPS, and other Korean pensions and investment entities have also shown strong interest in the UK’s commercial property and infrastructure investment markets. One of the industries that has been designated as a ‘future industry’ by the Korean government is of course the electronics industry and ‘high tech’ in general. In the UK there are a number of major financial software companies with strong track records and given that Korea’s historic strength has been in the hardware side of the electronics sector, it is easy to see that there might be some very good opportunities for Korean hardware and software companies to team up with UK financial software firms to develop ‘fintech’ products for use not only in Korea but that also might have global export opportunities. Fintech is still in its infant stage in the Korean market while many UK firms are global leaders already and there should be good opportunities for Korean banks and other financials along with Korean companies in the electronics/ software sector to enter into cooperative business development and even M&A transactions. Aside from the lure of the high tech sector, Korea’s retail sector remains of vital importance to the economy as a major source of employment and increasingly, via duty free and rising tourism from China and other countries in the region, a source of foreign exchange income. However, at this stage it is quite clear to most analysts that Korean retail companies remain in general well behind their counterparts in the western world in terms of market efficiencies and brand development. This should ensure that wellestablished UK brands, some of

which are already well known in Korea such as Burberry, Marks & Spencer, Johnnie Walker, The Body Shop, Rolls Royce and Harrods and British Airways. The point is that in addition to these brands there are a great many more highly successful UK brands in the retail sector that have been highly successful in the home market and in some cases in international markets, and there should be opportunities for Korean companies to benefit from this experience in joint ventures or M&A opportunities. Brexit is an on-going process and it is too early to say how it will develop but it can be said that the UK is very much open and receptive to business and this is something that Korean companies will be able to rely upon and to benefit from, but also there should equally be good business development opportunities available to UK companies in the Korean market and in third markets in cooperative arrangements with Korean companies. Business will work best when the flows are in both directions and perceptive managers in the UK and in Korea know that this is the case.



Korea Voices

Bank of Korea’s Forecast for 2016 and 2017 in Perspective Back when working for the World Bank, I used to say that on many missions, getting the data was 5% of the problem, and believing the data was 95% of the problem.


OK’s July 2016 forecast, which is the last real chance to get an external composite snap shot of BOK’s thinking presents problems, as shown in the following table. BOK has revised its overall 2016

forecast downwards to 2.7% from 2.8%. However when we look at the composition of this change, we find some hard to believe (HTB) data. BOK tells us that the average growth for H1 will be 3% meaning since Q1 was 2.8% (itself a revision from the preliminary 2.7%) that Q2 growth must have been at 3.2%, otherwise we do not get an average of 3%. Alternatively the quarterly GDP data due on July 26th will show a further revision upwards for Q1 towards 3% allowing Q2 to come down from 3.2%. While on currently available monthly data I can buy the idea that Q2 has been close to Q1, possibly even 0.1% higher – the final figure of 3% is HTB.(I even checked the Korean release to see if there was a transcription error) There is some statistical wriggle room in the export and import performance since in the final GDP equation +(Exports – Imports) is an element. The only reason not to call BOK out on these figures is that by July 14, BOK just has to know more or

less what its Q2 preliminary results will be. Fortunately unlike knowing whether our forecast for 2017-18 is correct where we have to wait two years, we will get the first answer on July 26 at 8 am.

Then what about H2 where growth slows from 3% YoY to 2.4% YoY. We have been dreading that downturn, since BOK first predicted it early in the year, expecting it in Q2 rather than Q3, at the same time wondering can growth at about the present level continue through Q3? Well as the red column shows everything drops dramatically, private expenditures, facilities investment, construction investment. The only thing predicted to get better is a (statistically) massive increase in exports and decrease in imports raising GDP at the +(Exports- Imports) level. Without calculating this in real numbers, mere percentages do not indicate the size of this change. Whatever its effect, this upturn in exports is also HTB. Even at the beginning of the year it was hard to believe, and by now with BREXIT throwing its weight in, plus extra turmoil in Turkey, China continuing its decline to find its new normal, and even exports to the US declining YoY in June 2016 figures, a sudden upturn is going to come late in Q4 if at

Tony Michell Managing Director, KABC Ltd.

Korea Voices all, too late to lift growth.

Has the structure changed?

My colleagues who crunch the numbers of Asia Executive Brief according to their Asian model suggest Korea will slow much more than BOK suggests with numbers generated by their model of 1.9%. (Asia Executive Brief is a monthly document put together by the IMA/ Asia Expertise group of associated consultancies across Asia). This leads to a monthly verbal battle royal with economists wielding statistics, equations and theories somewhat like two wizards fighting (remember the scene in the Lord of the Rings when Saruman and Gandalf fight in the Twin Tower at Isengard). In particular I remind my colleagues that economic

The reader may think I have forgotten structure as I talked at length about performance. One of the most striking examples of structural change is in the same forecast shown below, which shows the contribution of domestic growth and exports to total growth. This shows to my mind the fact that the Korean economic structure has moved from export led to domestic led. Without going into how BOK derived these estimates, the question is how an economy can stand on its head between 1H and 2H 2013 and draw more growth from the domestic side and a fraction of the growth from the export side. The fact is that the domestic economy has been steadily growing in all kinds of directions in the 21st century. Given that Korea has outgrown its old export model and the chaebol are selling less abroad for the most part, it is the energy of the SME sector which is replacing the chaebol that we have worshipped and feared for so long. Many foreign companies selling to Korea know this to be true. When an economy stands on its head, what is up is now down and what is down is now up, and those who track the economy through statistics must reexamine them carefully, their relationships with other factors. Otherwise we miss the important growth points of the future.

forecasting is somewhat akin to weather forecasting, in that timing is also important. Just as a typhoon is predicted to swing across the peninsula, but then goes across Japan or inland in China.Just so economic headwinds can shift, and even the agreed impact of factors on GDP do not necessarily occur in the timing sequence predicted in two different modelling sequences. Their forecast is top down reaching an annual figure and reluctantly break that result into quarters. I believe forecasting quarterly is the only way to increase reliability the reliability, which allows us to more precisely isolate certain variables and predict the timing of their impact. I first did this in 1980 for Citibank Korea, and correctly forecast the decline in GDP much to the client’s annoyance.

And what do I think about the current BOK forecast for 2017? For that you would need to attend the KBF meeting on August 18th. At that moment in presenting the future forecast I also give myself a grade on the forecast I gave a year earlier. Right now we are finishing our research on the Chaebol to deliver the 2015 score card on Thursday 21st. KBF is a membership organization operating in Korea since 1991. It is allied with a network of meetings across Asia from India to Indonesia. Members of the Seoul organization are free to attend the rest of the regions meetings. Please note that only a limited number of non members are admitted to any one session.



Korea Voices

BCG: Are you going to Milk the Cow or Shoot the Dog? In 1968, the Boston Consulting Group created their infamous ‘Growth / Share’ model. More widely known as the BCG matrix, it was designed as a decision-making tool for conglomerates, to guide the allocation of cash amongst business units. The design of the 2 x 2 matrix was based upon a combination of Relative Market Share (High or Low) and Market Growth Rate (High or Low). Simply put, companies would classify their business units (or: services, products) as:

At the height of its success in the late 1970s / early 1980s, the BCG matrix was used by around 45% of the Fortune 500, creating its own management jargon, such as, ‘milking the cows’ and ‘shooting the dogs’.

• “Stars”: invest to protect market share, and develop into Cash Cows; • “Cash Cows”: high profit & cash generation, redistribute this to other business units; • “Question Marks”: high cash needs, invest to increase market share or divest; • “Dogs”: weak profit and neutral/negative cash. Cut costs, divest or liquidate.

In the 1980s and 1990s it became ingrained into corporate culture; an essential analytical technique widely taught (and used) in finance, marketing, business et al. Of course, there are also numerous academic critiques of the model’s effectiveness. In 2016, my goal is certainly not to re-visit these, represent old news, or re-invent the wheel – so to speak.

Michael Conforme CEO, Michael Conforme International

Korea Voices

Instead, let me ask you one simple question: in the ever-changing landscape of corporate strategy, to what quadrant does the BCG matrix currently belong? First, given the sheer variety of analytical frameworks now available, it’s probable its current Market Share is Low (note: compared to a High in the 70s / 80s). Second, given the shift to more qualitative approaches, it’s probable the Market Growth Rate for analytical/quantitative strategy is also Low: (note: compared to High in the 70s/80s).

unit is a Dog, when it became such and, most importantly, what can be done by whom – to reverse the trend! Increasingly, the answers to these questions lie in the less analytical aspects of strategy. It is about hiring/ retaining the right people, improving organizational communications, and finding innovative new ways to compete. It is about achieving and maintaining acceleration so, quite simply, your business doesn’t become a Dog in the first place!

OK, so a low market growth rate coupled with a low market share rate is what? It’s a Dog – and, what do we do with Dogs? We shoot them, right? Oh dear! If the BCG matrix is suggesting the BCG matrix should be shot, then – should we abandon all such techniques?

Mike Conforme is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and mentor based in Asia. He helps accelerate growth with a focus on business development, leadership, sales and team building.

No. In generic terms, this example merely highlights the limitations of analytical strategy; it teaches us that – as CEOs – we must think beyond the textbook. In this particular case, the BCG analyzes the ‘what’ (business units, services, products) and then recommends the ‘how’ (milking cows, shooting dogs), without considering the ‘why’, ‘when’ and ‘whom’. The takeaway is, as CEOs, we must consider why a particular business

About the Author



Special Feature: Making Photos

A True Image Enshrines A Story You may think taking a photo involves a camera and someone pushing the shutter button (it’s certainly what my non-clients seem to think when they balk at my prices, or ask for free work). But for me taking a photo, and creating imagery that tells a story, are two entirely different things. Here is an example: The image you see below was created with a lot of research, thought, persistence, vision, luck, and an understanding of light, composition, and visual storytelling elements. I’m not saying I’m great at all those elements, I’m saying all those were

part of the process. I didn’t just end up on a boat behind the iconic Taj Mahal at sunset, and told Mr. Manoj to pose in the regal fashion that he did. Here’s how it really happened. I was visiting Agra with a few friends, and my photographer friend Pete had this idea of taking photos of the Taj Mahal from behind and outside. First, we asked the hotel staff if we could access the back of the Taj and they cautioned us of the security, as well as the ‘fact’ that the river barely had any water nowadays so there were no boats to take. Then we asked our taxi driver who we had brought along from Delhi if he knew how to get back there,

Anuj Madan Principal Photographer, Anuj Madan Photography

Special Feature: Making Photos and he explained that one could walk a few miles from the east gate, but there will certainly be police keeping the area clear and it was unlikely they would let anyone back there. Not to be deterred, we went to the Taj Mahal’s entrance around 5pm, and even on the way the hawkers selling souvenirs, rickshaw drivers, and tour operators confirmed that inside was the place to be, and no one was allowed around the back, and that there were no boats anymore. We reached the gate, looked at each other, and saw that to the right there was an empty path leading to the no man zone. It was about a 10 minute walk and we had no idea what to expect at the end of the road. As we approached the makeshift barrier, a policeman adorning a machine gun over his shoulder walked up to us. He looked at us and in my best Indian accent in the native language I explained we were photographers and just wanted to see the view. He didn’t resist, but warned us to stay in plain sight and not to wander off.

of being the only boatman, lasting two decades through good times and bad, and giving thousands of people the experience of the unique beauty of the sunset boat ride with a view of the Taj Mahal was captured in its original form devoid of the awareness of having a photo taken.

As we entered the area we saw three or four cops sitting playing cards with a few locals, and within two minutes someone approached us and asked if we wanted a boat ride. We looked at the shallow river, and searched for the boat...was that it? There was a piece of wood, barely a raft, but apparently it was the only one, and hesitantly, we agreed to pay the $1.50 each to get on this plank and drift back to the middle of the water. Our boatman, Mr. Manoj, pushed off the shallow bank and told us how he was the only one back here now that the water had almost disappeared due to the building of a damn a few miles up river. But he had been here for two decades, back when he could make thousands of dollars a year transporting people back and forth across the river, specially for couples at sunset. He told the story with such pride, and it was in that moment that I took this photo. The sun was setting, the story being told, the Taj was being the Taj, and I quickly positioned myself and leaned back to capture all three elements in on frame. It’s important to note that literally 3 seconds after I took this photograph, Mr. Manoj realized he was being photographed and a slight smirk, just a hint of a smile appeared on his face, the moment was lost. The pride

Briefly, here is what I did. I cropped the image slightly to balance out the three elements in the image; the sun, the boatman, and the Taj. I increased the saturation of his sweater, because I think the color represents his bold and positive attitude, and pride in his career. I pulled some shadows to clearly show his face (with the sun behind him, his face was a bit silhouetted, but technology helped me to show the hero’s face) and his rough white stubble that gives away his age and rugged appearance.

As for the creation, this was only half the story, but already it made for a damn good one, given that it had all the elements of a true work of art. It took research, persistence, defiance, communication, an exchange with the locals, vision, a bit of luck, and timing to create this image...and now I still had to edit the image to bring out the vision I had for it Just to be clear, I have not photoshopped this image, but I do use lightroom software (sort of like a digital darkroom) to play with the color tones, bring out the shadows and direct the viewer’s eyes as most good photographers try to do.

Finally, I also played with the sky to show both that it was a clear day, with blue skies, but as the sun set, the golden hue made for a great reflection on the water. The reflections are real, his expression is genuine, and mind you we were moving this whole time. All in all, it was a pleasure and a privilege to shoot this moment, and moments like these, when captured, make me realize how important photography is to preserve the beauty that we encounter daily, and unfortunately if we keep destroying the past in our pursuit of a ‘better’ future, all we will have left are the photographs.



Special Feature: Making Photos Image 2 (on following page)

Everyone Has A Story: These are the ever present shoe shine boys of C.P. Listen, everyone sees different things in art, yes, it is subjective, but the artist knows why he chose to create...and I’d like to take you through why I think this is an image worth sharing. Put simply, this photo tells a much deeper story than is apparent at first sight. So a little context is in order. This image was taken in February, 2016, during my trip to India. I grew up in New Delhi, and my father would take me to the center of town every now and then for lunch. It was then, at the age of maybe seven or eight, that I noticed these boys (well, not them exactly, but sadly perhaps even their parents - boy I’m getting old). Coming from a relatively privileged background but being sensitive as kids usually are, I noticed these seemingly homeless kids begging for people to get their shoes shined. They were always there, in the summer or winter, rain or shine (no pun intended). I remember feeling bad that they had to sit on the floor and do this hard work all day, but at the same time, even if I would be wearing the right shoes, I wouldn’t want someone to polish them for me, I’d feel terrible having someone do that. Coming back to 2016, some 30 odd years later, I’m walking in the same downtown area called C.P. and I see this group of kids congregating, perhaps sharing some candy, or salty snacks, and the memory came flooding back. Except now that I’m a photographer, I see a story, or rather, I compose one. I notice the unwashed faces, I notice their burden literally being carried on their young but strong shoulders - in wooden boxes that were perhaps passed on to them through their fathers or uncles, and most curiously I notice how none of them really even wear shoes (one kid wore closed toes, but not leather). That to

me is the moment, muscle memory takes over, my camera lifts to my eye simultaneously as my left hand uncaps the lens, fingers twitch in all directions getting the settings right, I zoom in for a tight shot, making sure to get the feet in the! It feels like they are the same boys that were there 30 years ago when I was their age--little has changed for them, so much has changed for me. But I still feel for them, just as I did 30 years ago. For those of you interested in photography, I’d say, gear is the least important thing but in its defence it helps one get into the zone, feel like a pro. / enthusiast, so one can open their eyes and see rather than look, compose rather than stare, be patient rather than be restless. As for the technical aspects, if you’re interested, at the time I had a Fuji XT10 mirrorless camera, the shot was taken at 62mm (with a 19-135mm lense), at F5.3, 1/250th of a second. In post processing, I added some contrast for a slightly dramatic effect, cropped the photo so onlookers in the frame wouldn’t detract from my subjects, and highlighted the orange in the foreground a bit. If this means nothing to you, don’t worry, it means next to nothing for me, too. The story of these boys and their omnipresence on the circular street of C.P. wouldn’t have changed if I had my Hasselblad or a prime lense handy. Seeing the moment and being able to capture it in it’s essence is all that really matters. Such is the mystique of street photography. You never know what you will find, what you will photograph, who and what you will encounter on an adventure. I don’t shoot specifically street photography, I shoot events, I shoot interiors, I shoot food, but in reality, I shoot moments. All are equally important to people concerned, and all have their own reason for being important. I am interested in capturing the story, and making my vision or my version a reality through my art.

Special Feature: Making Photos



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Value Chain August Edition  

The Monthly Magazine of the Korea Business Leaders Alliance