We talk to Guy Ofek Angella Yesung Han
Korea Voices Tom Coyner Bryan Hopkins Jocelyn Clark Rodney J. Johnson
Flexible, Resilient, Ready
In This Monthâ€™s Issue Foundersâ€™ Message
Upcoming KBLA Events
Night Out at the Skydome Professional Series Seminar: Crisis Management
Recent KBLA Events
KBLA South Dinner Innovation Series: Connecting the Dots
Living in Color: Guy Ofek
From law to 3D-printing, from Israel to Korea, Guy Ofek keeps moving, learning, and challenging himself.
KBLA Community The Guide: Angella Yesung Han
Leveraging experiences learned abroad to help the expat community adapt to life in Korea
Trade & Finance
Searching for Answers to South Koreaâ€™s Challenge
South Koreaâ€™s economic challenge is posed by low energy price, high youth unemployment, slowed growth, and structural inefficiencies.
Korea Voices Bryan Hopkins
Rodney J. Johnson
Special Feature: Making Photos Tom Coyner
About the KBLA
Pivot or Double-Down: Making the Tough Call T
o say that choosing between pivoting and doubling-down is a tough call is actually to make a gross understatement. The decision of whether or not to continue in the annointed direction an organization is already on or embark on a completely new, untested, and perhaps not-well-understood direction has to be one of the most difficult decisions in all of business. Certainly all decisions in business involve tradeoffs. Capital budgeting and hiring and virtually any other decision that requires committing organizational assets toward a single direction, involves giving up other potential businesses. Having said that, the decision to pivot implies the decision to give up on a beliefsystem about the company and its very role in the marketplace. It is a wrenching decision akin to converting to a new religion or giving up allegiance to a cherished sports team. Because the decision is so difficult, companies often linger on old paths too long and end up way behind the power curve. By the time enough pressure has built up inside the organization to make a pivot, it is too late to do so effectively. One of the problems that make pivoting so difficult is the problem of definitively determining that a pivot is necessary. It is not always clear what the company’s situation is in the market. It is not always clear whether one more quarter will bring success or further distress and more constricted opportunities. Waiting and doing nothing may validate all our original beliefs about our products and our customers. Pivoting may be giving up on our hard-earned success and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
The problem, of course, is lack of good information, lack of definitive data about how we are doing. If we had good data, we’d have a much easier time making the call. We’d certainly have a much easier time convincing our colleagues and the organization’s stakeholders. The availability of good information doesn’t happen by accident. It happens through careful selection and designation of key information requirements early on. Knowing what we need to know, knowing which metrics are important and which ones aren’t, is crucial. Just as important, knowing what sources of information are available and what biases the information comes with aids us in analysis and understanding of the data we get back. Information is at the center of adaptability, whether it is related to strategic decision making or managing crises. With good information we can make better decisions, without good information we end up not just guessing about the proper path to take, but we also struggle to convince others they should follow us down that path.
Rodney J. Johnson President, Erudite Risk Co-Founder, KBLA
Steve McKinney President, McKinney Consulting Co-Founder, KBLA
Upcoming KBLA Events
Weâ€™re back! Baseball at the Skydome! The KBLA Night Out at the Skydome is truly a special night of fun and camaraderie for the whole family. We have reserved a private VIP Skybox where we 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. There are only 10 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 family and fellow KBLA members makes it even more exciting.
Spouses/Family welcome This event is limited to KBLA Members and specially invited guests only.
Upcoming KBLA Events
Managing Crises in the Organization Presented by Bryan Hopkins, Lee & Ko Rodney J. Johnson, Erudite Risk Jeffrey Bohn, Edge Communications This crisis management seminar teaches you where the rubber meets the road! You donâ€™t want to miss this seminar if you are a business leader in Korea. This seminar is ideal for company directors, corporate managers, in-house counsel and outside lawyers interested in helping corporate clients with their own crisis management issues.
This seminar will provide practical information and insights to help you - Evaluate the current state of your organizational Crisis Management preparations - Understand what elements a crisis management plan should include - Evaluate who is and isnâ€™t a stakeholder in a crisis - Evaluate when a crisis has begun and the pitfalls most organizations experience - Learn where the tripwires to legal liability lie - Learn the processes for managing a crisis to minimize legal liability - Learn to communicate with all stakeholders, inside and outside the firm - Learn to build and maintain a crisis management plan for your organization
New KBLA Members in June Mr. Seung-Hoon Shin Director KOTRA, Invest Korea Mr. Soleiman Dias Director of Admissions Chadwick International School Mr. John Caamano President/CEO Korea Engineering Plastics Co., Ltd. Mr. Lewis Patterson Director Latitude 45 Limited Mr. Deok-Gu Lee Partner Shin & Kim Mr. Jin-Taek Choi Sr. Relationship Manger Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) Mr. James Yi CEO Burson-Marsteller Korea Mr. Gene (Jin-Hwang) Jung Managing Director Tullis Russell Coaters Korea Ltd. Mr. Anuj Madan Photographer Anuj Madan Photography Mr. Seok Soon Cho Chief Representative State of Mississippi, Korea Rep. Office Mr. Hong-Jae Im Representative Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina-Korea Office, ASOK Mr. Hong Dong-Pyo CEO Global PD. Inc. Sung Soo (Nicholas) Kim Investment Officer, Tourism, Leisure, & Casino IFEZ (Incheon Free Economic Zone)
Recent KBLA Events
KBLA South Dinner
Dinner and a Yacht Ride Make Two Days in Busan Unforgettable The KBLAâ€™s first event in Busan in 2016 was a great success thanks to the Park Hyatt Busan and KBLA South Director Michael Conforme.
Recent KBLA Events
Recent KBLA Events
Establishing the Business Case for Green Buildings Green buildings have their own charm for many of the environmently conscious, but investors need more than charm.
he KBLA Innovation Series continued with a rousing meeting on a stanza of the theme that is sure to be the background music of the 21st century: maintaining our way of life while preserving the planet we all share.
development and climate change that will all us to bridge that gap. By focusing on processes and using real, objective numbers to analyze and communicate the value of green buildings, we can turn green development ambitions into reality.
Mr. Chungha Cha, who has extensive experience in both green buildings and real estate development, introduced event participants to more than just the gulf in understanding between champions of green development and the wider investment world; he introduced us to a way of thinking about green
Everyone at the KBLA and the Innovation Series would like to thank Mr. Chungha Cha and his team for assisting us with this important topic and for opening our eyes to all the possibilities in green construction technology.
Recent KBLA Events
Recent KBLA Events
Recent KBLA Events
Recent KBLA Events
Recent KBLA Events
The KBLA Innovation Series, hosted by KBLA Innovation Ambassador, Dr. Ogan Gurel, features innovation in all its forms, shapes, and incarnations. Watch for future Innovation Series events at www.kbla.info or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KoreaBusinessLeadersAlliance/.
Bringing a new age of production, in color, to Korea and Asia From law to 3D-printing, from Israel to Korea, Guy Ofek keeps moving, learning, and challenging himself.
hanks for participating in this interview! Tell us about your professional background and the company you work for now. First and foremost, thank you for the kind opportunity to introduce myself and the fascinating industry I work in to our KBLA members. Not many know I actually started my professional career as a lawyer back in 1997, and that for 6 years I worked for various leading law firms in Israel, handling matters related to real estate, planning and zoning, corporate law, IP and more. Years later, while studying for my masterâ€™s degree, a classmate - who would later on become my mentor - offered me my first sales & marketing position, to manage the Asian distribution channels of a small Israeli company he was working for at the time. Needless to say I accepted the offer, mainly because the company I worked for as in-house legal counsel was going down, but also because the gentleman gave a very good pitch, and â€œsoldâ€? me the position in the best possible way. Prior to assuming that position I had never even visited Asia, so being able to travel from one country to another, having breakfast in Manila and dinner in HK, sounded like a real jet-setter sort of position and I accepted it with open arms. I actually joined the 3D Printing industry, or Additive Manufacturing as it is often called, in 2008, when
that Israeli company invested in a small 3D printing manufacturer, and that product was then added to the already extensive product portfolio I had. That lower-end product did not sell well, but it did give me a glimpse into this fast developing industry, and so, in 2010, equipped with limited industry experience yet rather significant channel management experience, I succeeded in landing myself my first major role in the industry - Territory Manager for South East Asia with Objet Geometries (“Objet”), back then the industry’s third largest player.
experience and network far beyond SEA and into APAC as a whole, when I assumed an additional role as the GAM Manager for APAC.
At the time, my family and I were living in Singapore, which served as a very good hub, as I’d spend much of my time traveling from one country to another, in effort to build and develop our channel network, and later on take my channels through a tough merger between Objet and Stratasys Inc., which created Stratasys Ltd. the current industry behemoth.
The industry is dominated by players making 3D models from plastics of all sorts, so using paper and ink allows Mcor not only to push running costs to the ground and bring an environmentally friendly solution to the market, but mainly remove barriers to adoption such as acquisition costs, floor space consumption, and safety. In addition, Mcor brings a solution, the components of which - paper, ink, and glue - are familiar to each and every one of us, which can serve as a catalyst for procurement.
Merger, I should say, was not really Objet’s first objective, as the company was actually looking to get listed, and in effort to get ready, the senior leadership team forged a Global Account Program intended to shine in the eyes of our future investors, which created an opportunity for me to expand my
It was therefore either a mid-life crisis or simply my never-ending passion to build and create things from scratch, that pushed me to accept my current role with Mcor Technologies, an Irish manufacturer, whose 3D printers make 3D models from standard office paper, and in full color utilizing inkjet technology, a very unique solution in our industry as you may know.
How did you end up living and working in Korea? Well, this is another interesting story. As I mentioned before, my
KBLA Community family and I lived in Singapore for 6 years, where my wife worked for the regional office of Daimler Financial Services. As with anything else in life, every good thing must come to an end, and after several extensions, we reached the maximum period allowed in a single location, and thus, between our desire to stay in Asia, and the pool of available positions, my wife accepted the one and only available position, CEO of Mercedes Benz Financial Services Korea here in Seoul. It was then my turn to see how to I ‘reinvent’ myself again, and as Stratasys started shifting focus more into industrial applications of 3D printing, I offered the regional management to switch from Territory Manager, to a full time Strategic Accounts Manager, overlooking Korea and Japan, with the aim of working with our largest customers implementing Additive Manufacturing solutions on the shop floor. Tell us some of the impressions you have of Korea as a place for expats to live and work. Much like Singapore, Korea as well was not really foreign grounds for me when the family decided to relocate, simply because I traveled to Korea for business a good number of times during my years in Asia. Having said that, to live in a country, is an utterly different experience to visiting that country as a tourist or businessman, and so, whatever I thought I knew and understood about Korea, the culture and the business environment through the years, was nothing in comparison to what I actually learned following my move. Like with any new beginning, the first 6 to 8 months were not easy, and it was not only because neither of us had ever experienced such an extreme winter season, or because we got spoilt living in the tropics, and did not even have proper winter clothes. It was more given the language barrier, the need to hit
the ground running work wise, in conjunction with the need to learn every single thing one requires for his or her daily routine from scratch. I often compared that experience to sending a laptop for servicing, only to receive it back with an entirely new operating system, so even the fundamental things had to be learned, and this was a very tiring process.
“when you get to know Korea, it is absolutely fantastic!” Thank God nothing lasts forever, and with some good old perseverance and the most kind assistance of our amazing neighbors, friends and work colleagues, we soon managed to get our fundamentals and routines in place, and were able to move on to really experience and explore this amazing country, and when you get to know Korea, it is absolutely fantastic! Korea offers a great place to live and work for the average expat, in terms of education and academic excellence, personal safety, state of the art infrastructure in place, food and beverage industry, customer service and experience, lifestyle and accommodation, and multiple alternatives for sport, vacation and weekend recreation activities. Korea is really a beautiful country, with plenty of green lungs inside and outside the main cities, with great beaches, sporting activities, mountain trails in abundance, and in general great outdoors to explore. I love taking the car at the end of the week, driving a few hours from Seoul to a new destination, spending a night or two in a cabin, and “changing the air” as I call it. Absolutely fantastic. And for those who don’t like to drive, using the KTX to go down south, and renting a car at a designated location, is another great alternative.
KBLA Community I recently established a corporate entity here, and also received a new visa, and in order to save the cost, I did it all by myself. I must admit that while I have experienced easier and shorter procedures in Singapore or HK for example, the overall experience was such that made me think dealing with government agencies, even on the personal level, is pleasantly surprising.
City Air Terminal in Gangnam.
Last but not least, Korean businessmen may take their time to make the first step, but once decision is made, they are lightning fast to move forward, and their execution ability is second to none. Interpersonal relationships may take time to develop, but once formed, rest assured you have a true friend and ally for life. In this respect I see Koreans somewhat different to other Asians in a very positive way. Korea is changing, and it is very evident the internal sort of focus the country had through the years, or what people often refer to as “Island mentality”, is on the way out, making room for a country and society with a greater regional and international focus. I am very bullish about Korea in this respect.
All in all Korea is not a cheap place to live in, especially if one lives and works in the main hubs of Seoul metro, but there are plenty of alternatives around in satellite cities, offering great community and experience.
You live in Korea, yet serve the whole Asia region. What are Korea’s strong points for acting as regional hub? What are the points that can still be improved? The 3D printing industry as a whole, though making very impressive progress (CAGR wise) in the past seven or so years, is still not as big as other more established industries, and so, 70% of the revenue in the Region is coming from four subregions, namely, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. In this respect, being stationed in Korea offers a very comfortable getaway to these north Asian markets, with plenty of reasonably priced flights from both Gimpo and Incheon airports. In addition, access to these airports is seamless, especially if one uses the train from Seoul Station, or the limo buses which run from every corner of the city, including of course from the
I love taking early morning or late night flights out of Gimpo, as it gives me an opportunity to utilize my time away more effectively, so on the personal level, if I may, I feel it would probably be a good time to give Gimpo a face lift, and with it, bring more carriers who fly to more destinations in the Region.
You work in an exciting area of emerging technology. That usually means that you work in a small or medium-size company. Would you say you enjoy working in larger companies or smaller companies? What do you see as the strong and weak points of each? Very correct observation on your part. Indeed none of the players in the industry is a very big company, and in fact the largest players, Stratasys and 3D Systems have a market cap of only US$1.2B and US$1.52B respectively, and each employs only a couple of thousand people. While I never actually worked for a big “multi-national” myself, I know well from the experience of friends and colleagues, they are normally a very good “school” to learn and get exposed to best of breed business practices, and get to work with state of the art platforms and strategies. I also highly value the fact, these big names, attract great talents, and so, if one is looking to be challenged and work in a business environment where people constantly push the limits, this is a fantastic opportunity. Working with smart people, from whom I can learn and develop always appealed to me, and as a lifelong learner, I always wanted in a certain way to belong to this “Elite” group.
KBLA Community Having said that, the flip side of the coin is the fact the burn rate in these organizations is very high, and so in order to keep up with the fast pace, one must have or develop strong internal motivation, a long-term mindset and endurance abilities. Another element is probably the inability of most employees, unless in a very senior position, to bring change and leave a personal impact on the organization, which is something every good leader would like to have. Ever since I was very young, I was always on the heavier side, so sprinting was never my cup of tea. As the years developed and I grew older, I developed an appetite for “long distance” - which by the way also manifested itself in my choices of sports (running, swimming, cycling, hiking). I mention that, because long distance, or long term in general became my preferences when it comes to business and work environment, so I guess you could say I am more curved towards the bigger organization, but perhaps not the really big ones where I’d feel unable to impact decisions and processes, and leave my own mark. There has been a lot said about 3D printing in the last few years, but it still remains a mysterious concept to most people who don’t work in the industry. Can you explain what it is in simple terms? What about it would you like us to know? True, 3D printing, or Additive Manufacturing, is essentially a process for making physical objects from three-dimensional digital models, by laying down many successive thin layers of material. There are multiple technologies allowing one to do that, and hundreds of materials from which such 3-dimensional objects can be printed / manufactured. People outside the industry often ask: “What exactly can I do with it?” or perhaps “How can it benefit me?” which in other words means what is the killer application here for us all?
So here is the thing, over the passing few years, we all grew wiser and learned this fascinating technology may not necessarily be for us all, or at least not yet, and it is important to understand that because the industry gained massive awareness - which translated into an even bigger hype - just because several years ago, many believed 3D printing was the next best thing since sliced bread. And why did they think that, because some patents of a leading technology out there (called FDM) expired, giving rise to hundreds of lower-end and cheaper printer manufacturers, allowing people to buy printers for their children as Christmas gifts. And why would they want to do that, not just because all of a sudden they could, but because leaders such as President Obama himself referred to 3D printing by saying: “This has the potential to change everything!”. Today as I said, we are wiser and understand the industry is legitimate and has much value to bring to anyone out there busy with product development, as most of the printers out there are still being used for prototyping. Having said that, we also know certain solutions can and are being used also for production oriented applications, in other words, either to produce the final product itself, or to print objects which are used in a production environment as assistive and supportive tools in the manufacturing process itself. It is therefore very important to know Additive Manufacturing shines in environments where it can either bring new value to the user which did not exist before (example, the ability to print an object which includes complex internal structure), as well as environments allowing for high customization or high-value low-mix, such as personalized products, low run productions, limited editions and the like. It is for these reasons the medical and the dental industries, for example, find 3D printing valuable, as each and every patient
KBLA Community is unique and different, so when it comes to applying the medical treatment, there is no one size fits all when it comes to surgery, support structures, implant modeling, dental reconstruction, teeth alignment and more. And perhaps one more thing, it is for these very reasons, that the biggest industries on the plant such as aerospace and automotive, which had already adopted 3D printing solutions in the 80â€™s, are the ones pushing the boundaries, constantly investing in new technologies, in order to develop new possible applications outside product development. Examples for that are Ford, BMW, Honda, Airbus, Boeing, NASA and many others. How long before 3D printing really starts to impact our lives in a way that is obvious for everyone? How disruptive will this technology be for traditional manufacturing?
There is a saying in Judaism which goes something like: â€œSince the destruction of The Temple, prophecy has been given to foolsâ€?, so I would not volunteer to say when such groundbreaking and impactful changes occur. All I can and would say is the industry is developing and moving very fast. Surely much faster than most other industries, with new technologies and players joining on a regular basis, and those bring with them new applications in existing and new vertical markets. For example, the fax giants such HP, Ricoh, and Canon are stepping into the 3D printing industry, and will elevate customer intimacy, production capacity, product quality, service support and quality, and at the same time new entrants bringing new technologies, new materials, and cheaper solutions, will help foster adoption of existing and new applications. So, I suggest we wait and see how things develop because the next two years look critical and very interesting.
Where is Korea going to come out when 3D printing is widespread in manufacturing and production? Is it going to be a net negative for Korea or a net positive, considering its reliance on manufacturing and its competition with regional competitors such as China? Korea, like many other well developed countries, invests heavily in the adoption of 3D printing, and local government allocates tens of millions of dollars to facilitate universities, schools, and such other government research agencies with suitable and state of the art equipment. We also see a few tens of Korean companies engaging in the design and manufacturing of 3D printing products and solutions, and even ever growing after school activities, offering the modern parent an opportunity to teach his child 3D art and design using 3D printers. All of that, as you can understand, goes hand in hand with the Creative Economy, and will eventually lead to further adoption of new technologies
and advanced manufacturing applications in the major industries such as Automotive, Consumer Electronics, and even Shipbuilding. It is important to acknowledge though, that while many governments provide the framework and funding to facilitate adoption, not one of them has the crystal ball, so while they do whatever they can, it is mainly up to the users, the chief industry players and the research institutions to come up with ways to generate more and more value out of these technologies, and here again, we know all major Korean brands. From Hyundai to LG, from Samsung to Posco, they have an impressive selection of Additive Manufacturing solutions, which they work on day and night in order to come up with the next killer application. How long before 3D printing comes to every home? When it does come, what will we use it for? As I mentioned, we do not really see that happening at this stage with the current technologies available
KBLA Community in the market, or better say the applications we have. It is now more likely to assume 3D printers will be used more and more by different industries, will have many more available materials in the future, and be offered to us, the individuals by local service providers - such as the corner Kinkoâ€™s - rather than sit at the desktop of every family and in every office. The industry will touch us via the products we will consume, many of which may be 3D printed, and not necessarily by the fact we shall be printing ourselves in our own homes. Where do you see Guy Ofek in 5 years? 10 years? Fantastic question. As you might have heard, my dear wife and I, separated late last year, so after some 16 years of marriage, and 8 plus years of being a trailing spouse, I found myself in need of a new strategy. Two things became apparent to me at the time: one - I could go and live or work wherever I want, so first I need to decide where shall be my new home, and two - for the first time in my life whatever I decide it will be me, and me alone, who will have to execute and bear the consequences. This absolute freedom, mixed with honest worries and concerns, sent me back to the drawing board, and soon enough I came up with what I call a 3-pillar strategy, based on me staying here in Korea for the longer term. On the basic level I decided to continue on working in the 3D printing industry and do what I do best, which is bring value and grow those channels I work with throughout Asia. On the higher level, I would like to leverage and monetize the extensive network Iâ€™ve created in Asia through the years, in order to bring products and services from one country in the region to another, as well as bring dedicated knowledge and expertise in the high-tech space from Israel to Korea, knowing there is great
accumulated experience and talent in my home country, which I feel can be perfectly aligned with the current trends and needs in Korea. On the third and final level, I would like to deepen my presence and strengthen my network here in Korea, but also be involved in the community, so for this purpose Iâ€™d like to expand my volunteering activities, and be more involved with government projects such as K-move, a human resource development initiative looking to assist young Korean professionals in achieving their goals and developing global mindset and leadership capabilities, by teaming them up with foreign mentors. On the personal level, I would like to succeed in maintaining a good and meaningful relationship with my children, who will leave Korea on their way to their next destination, and if I am very lucky, perhaps find a way to start over again with a new life partner. These all are my legitimate expectations for the next 5 years. Our world is changing way too fast, so allow me to be honest and admit a 10-year outlook is far beyond my horizon. What are some of the personal and professional challenges you are still looking forward to? In line with my answer to your previous question, the ventures above, in particular the first and second ones, should they develop as expected, would require me to manage a large team and be responsible for my own personal business, which are two things I have not done this far, and if there is one more thing, it would probably have to be - significantly improve my Korean.
Angella Yesung Han
Guiding expats and travelers to a better Korea experience Yesung Han is leveraging experiences learned abroad to help the expat community adapt and thrive in Korea. Thanks for joining us for this interview. Tell us, please, more about you: your background (professional and personal), your family, your passions. What are the things about you that you wish everyone knew!? Since I became an adult, I have been traveling to different countries, where I have been blessed enough to integrate and learn about different cultures. I grew up in Seoul, South Korea, where the community is homogeneous and I had little exposure to other cultures. But since then, I have had the opportunity to go to the United States (in California, Colorado, Oregon, and Missouri) and to the Netherlands. During that time, I learned what it is like to be an expat and to learn and accept a culture that is other than your own. I think that has highly influenced my professional and personal goals and is a significant part of my life. For me, understanding the many obstacles and barriers expats face when traveling and living overseas, I want to be able to help those people by using my background and practical knowledge. As a result, even though my work involves helping expats, I strive to help others during my personal time. What did you do before AngloINFO? What were some of your early professional and personal goals? When I was a college student at
Ewha Womans University, I majored in the Fine Arts. After graduating, I became a college instructor and worked with college students in Korea. It wasnâ€™t until 2000 that I became a businesswoman, where I started as an entrepreneur at home importing high quality products from the States and selling them in Korea. Even though I didnâ€™t have any business experience thus far, I found that if I followed my instincts my business continued to thrive. I continued on this business for almost a decade, when I perceived that the markets were changing, and I chose to switch into the online marketing business. How did you get started working for AngloINFO? Were there any difficult decisions involved? When I was living in the Netherlands in 2010, I used AngloINFO sites all the time and found them extremely helpful. I realized that this website is a valuable tool for adjusting to the difficulties of living abroad. In 2001, I also lived in Gunsan, where an American air force base is located. While I was there, I met many other expats and aided them with the transition to live overseas. That further stimulated my interest in helping other expats and how AngloINFO could be helpful with that. When I finally moved back to my childhood home, Seoul, I joined SIWA, which is another organization for expats in Korea. During that time,
KBLA Community I was exposed to many more expats and I heard a lot of them talk about how there isn’t a viable source of information out there for expats in Korea. I realized that I could make AngloINFO as beneficial to these expats as it was for me while I was in the Netherlands. It has been a lot of hard work, especially juggling business with family, but I am proud of how successful the site has become and how many expats it has helped. You work very hard at your job and have publicly expressed how much you love it. What is it about your job that makes you love it so much? What are the best parts? What are the worst parts? I love being able to give back to the community and making my society a better place. I understand the struggles that come from living in a new and foreign country, and I want to help mitigate those problems, something which I feel very passionate about. I love being able to put out information that could help make a trip or the settling in of a new life that much easier or better. I enjoy being about to talk to customers and thinking of innovative ways to help other expats and people in general. Sometimes it doesn’t always work and sometimes the word doesn’t get out, but I love trying to overcome the challenge and find new ways to engage with people. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, but I think the overall goal is worth the time and effort and that keeps me going. In your opinion, what has made AngloINFO work well globally? What has made it work in Korea? AngloINFO works well because it works through an online platform, where a larger cohesive message is spread while at the same time giving room to the individual qualities of each country. In this way, people across the world can work together to improve different services and marketing platforms (like websites
and Facebook), while simultaneously allowing for intensive administration on the country-level. I think this has made AngloINFO work excellently across the globe. I think AngloINFO Seoul works well on the ground because we have the backing of the larger, overall AngloINFO at the same time that we work hard to network and make contact with businesses and people all over Korea. We can bring these different people together in
“I love being able to give back to the community and making my society a better place.” a way that more productively and effectively helps expats in Korea. Our theme this month is adaptation. Has AngloINFO evolved significantly since you’ve been part of it? The role of the web in our lives has certainly evolved with the advent of mobile computing and mobile apps. What impact have those changes had on AngloINFO? AngloINFO became a lucrative practice because we were farsighted enough to see the revolutionary trend of paper copy advertising moving to online marketing. AngloINFO doesn’t have any paper copy, which gives it a stronger position to take in the online community when it comes to advertising. Without having to worry about the cost and efficiency of printing out paper (and looking for the ideal spot to put it up), AngloINFO can focus solely on the best way to reach people through online communities across the world. Moreover, AngloINFO’s strategy of working with mobile apps is an impactful strategy. It is something I have seen added on, and its evolution has had a high impact on how our business’s profitability. How do you see AngloINFO evolving in the future?
KBLA Community I know that AngloINFO is already staying ahead of the marketing trends that have spread globally. We are already pushing hard to be a part of the social media and other vital online platforms. If we can make definitive improvements to our website, I think we can continue this evolution and really find our niche within the online world. We should also look forward by making improvements to not just the most innovative technology, but what is the most accessible to the expat community as a whole.
I would focus more on what I really wanted. I have missed many good chances in my life because I was afraid to go outside my comfort zone. I would try my best to move out of my comfort zone much more often back then. I think the fact that I am willing to take chances and fight for what I want has brought a lot of success that wouldn’t have happened if I was timid. I would have liked to have met more people and to have taken more opportunities to study business. And I think that is something I am rectifying now, and it is what my future successes will be built on.
How do you see the role of expats
What’s next for Angella Yesung Han?
“Don’t be afraid. Follow your gut feeling and do what you feel passionate about.” in Korea evolving in the future? Expats already play a critical role in Korean society, especially in areas like tourism and business. We can already see a trend where immigrants and other expats are increasing more and more. With almost 2 million foreigners living in Korea, it is undeniable that expats will continue to play a huge role in Korea. This increase has been occurring over the past decade or so, and it is expected that it will continue well into the future. Undoubtedly, the more expats that come in, the more the relationship between expats and the Korean community will strengthen. Professionally speaking, what would you do differently now, if anything, knowing what you now know, if you could go back and redo some of your early professional or educational decisions? Even though I believe in following your instincts and have tried to do so at every opportunity, sometimes the fear of failing has stopped me from doing what I felt was important to continue forward. If I could go back to 2000,
I will continue working hard to make improvements to AngloINFO Seoul and help expats around Korea. I will continue to strengthen my relationship with the expat community and use what I learn from their insights and my own experience to make AngloINFO Seoul even more successful. Additionally, I am focused on working with different women’s organizations in Korea and across the globe. I want to join one of these organizations that works to bring together strong businesswomen who are striving to make improvements in their entrepreneurial endeavors. Something I have been working on for the past year is opening a division of a business women’s organization in Korea. I think business women in Korea could benefit greatly from such an organization, and I am also passionate about moving forward with this kind of project. What advice would you give to young people seeking to find their own passion? Don’t be afraid. Follow your gut feeling and do what you feel passionate about. I think following this advice has led me to some wonderful opportunities, not just in my business life, but in my personal life as well. I think following my instincts is what gave me an opening to some of my best and proudest work, and I would encourage anyone who is starting out in their professional life to look deep inside and use that intuition to make the best of any situation.
Korea Intelligence | Trade and Finance
Issues Domestic SMEs Face when Looking to Export On June 1, the Korea Federation of SMEs (KBIZ) published the results of a survey it conducted regarding issues faced by domestic-facing SMEs when it comes to exporting. SMEs surveyed tended to agree that finding and developing overseas partners, as well as improving product competitiveness (including, selecting the right product to begin with), were key in order to make the transition to an exporting SME. For SMEs that had exported but stopped, the greatest reason was the difficulty in developing overseas partners. As far as SMEs that had never tried exporting directly, the most common reason given was that it was easier to export indirectly through a larger Korean business.
Data KBIZ, Chart and Translation KBLA
For those SMEs that had exported but stopped, the largest single reason was difficulty in developing overseas partners and buyers. As far as not exporting directly, respondents seemed to agree that it was either easier to do it indirectly through a larger company, or that it was too bothersome to try doing so in small amounts.
Data KBIZ, Chart and Translation KBLA
Korea Intelligence | Trade and Finance
Manufacturing Labor Productivity Following the Global Financial Crisis The Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade (KIET) recent released a report regarding low manufacturing labor productivity in the years since the global financial crisis. According to the report, excluding the global financial crisis (2009) and the financial crisis (IMF, 1998), 2015 represented the year of lowest manufacturing growth since 1980. At the same time, growth in manufacturing employment was at its highest level (excluding years immediately following the global financial crisis and IMF - 2000 and 2010), since 1989. As a consequence, labor productivity growth was a record low -2.3% in 2015.
The report states that while the causes are not entirely clear, there is a large possibility that policies such as tax exemptions for job creation, and other policies for hiring and employment support, have had an influence.
Data BOK and Statistics Korea via KIET, Chart and Translation KBLA
Data BOK and Statistics Korea via KIET, Chart and Translation KBLA
Korea Intelligence | Trade and Finance
Implementation of Fair Employment Guidelines On May 18, the Korea Employers Federation (KEF) released the results of a survey of 162 member companies regarding the implementation of new personnel management policies reflecting guidelines promulgated by the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) in January 2016. The survey revealed that roughly 85% of respondent companies had either implemented reforms reflecting the guidelines or are in the process of doing so. Larger companies tended to be further along in the process, although they identified labor union opposition as an issue, while smaller companies faced more structural difficulties in implementation. Overall, companies expressed interest in and concern over the development of employee evaluation systems.
Larger companies (1,000+ employees) were more likely to have already incorporated the guidelines into personnel management reforms, and were less likely to have dismissed implementation outright.
Data KBIZ, Chart and Translation KBLA
Smaller companies (less than 300 employees) were more likely to identify structural issues as impediments to implementation, while larger companies (and those with labor unions), identified union opposition as the largest issue.
Data KBIZ, Chart and Translation KBLA
Korea Intelligence | Trade and Finance
Construction Industry Forecast On May 19, the Construction & Economy Research Institute of Korea (CERIK) issued a report regarding the possibility of a downturn in the domestic construction industry. Overall, CERIK forecasts that construction orders in 2016 will drop by roughly 20%, in large part due to sharply curtailed private demand, and that the downturn will become apparent by 2H 2016. CERIK further predicts that construction investment will enter a downturn by 2H 2017, and that said downturn will last two to three years.
The value of construction orders showed a record high in 2015 when based on current value, but when chained to 2010 prices, the value was slightly lower than 2007 and similar to 2003.
Data CAK* via CERIK, Chart and Translation KBLA
CERIK predicts that 2016 orders will drop by over twenty percent yearon-year. Per the report, while 2015 orders will be enough to buoy investment through 2016, construction investment will drop-off in earnest by the latter half of 2017.
Data CAK* via CERIK, Chart and Translation KBLA *Construction Association of Korea
Korea Intelligence | Economics
OECD Economic Forecast Summary On June 1, the OECD released its Global Economic Outlook and Interim Economic Outlook, to include its forecast for Korea. While many of the specific causes for the factors assessed were addressed more in depth in the May 16 OECD “Economic Survey of Korea in 2016,” this report provides additional insight and a concise forecast. Per the OECD report: “Output growth is projected to be 2.7% in 2016, reflecting weak external demand and fiscal tightening, with inflation around 1%. With stronger external demand in 2017, growth is projected to pick up to about 3%, in line with potential. The current account surplus will remain high at 71⁄2 per cent of GDP.”
“Korea’s labour productivity growth was the fastest in the OECD during the past 25 years, but the level of labour productivity is still only 55% of the average of the top half of OECD countries, reflecting weak productivity in services. Product market regulation is among the most stringent in the OECD area. The government is addressing the causes of low productivity through its Three-Year Plan for Economic Innovation launched in 2014. Policies to break down labour market dualism would encourage firm-based training, thereby boosting productivity.” Data OECD
“Government spending is set to rise less than 1% in 2016. Given its budget surplus and low debt, Korea should introduce a supplementary budget to provide some stimulus. Inflation has undershot the target
since 2012, suggesting scope to cut the policy interest rate, although the central bank needs to take high household debt and the risk of capital outflows into account.”
Korea Intelligence | Economics
2017 Budget Requests On June 10, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF) released its figures on government budget requests submitted for 2017. Overall total budget requests for 2017 amounted to 398.1 trillion KRW, a 3.0% increase over the 2016 budget, and the smallest increase in recent years. The largest increases were to the health, welfare, and employment categories, as well as national defense, while the social overhead capital budget was cut by 15.4 %. A formalized budget based on input from relevant ministries is planned for submission to the National Assembly by September 2, 2016.
Data MOSF, Table and Translation KBLA
The 3.0 % increase in requests for 2017 is half that of 2015. The MOSF report attributes this to the promotion of continuous finance reforms.
Data MOSF, Table and Translation KBLA
Korea Intelligence | Economics
Korean National Balance Sheet for 2015 On June 14, the Bank of Korea (BOK) released the Korean National Balance Sheet for 2015. According to the report, the countryâ€™s national wealth amounted to 12,359.5 trillion KRW at the end of 2015, a year-on-year increase of 5.7%. Non-financial assets amounted to 12,126.5 trillion KRW, while financial assets were 233 trillion KRW.
Korea Intelligence | Economics
Non-Financial Corporations Financial Statement Analysis for 1Q 2016 On June 16, the Bank of Korea (BOK) released its figures on financial statements issued by non-financial corporations in 1Q 2016. Per the BOK report, “In the 1st quarter of 2016, sales of non-financial stock companies dropped year-on-year, while their profitability rose year-on-year.”
“(Growth) - Sales decreased by 2.0% year-on-year during the 1st quarter of 2016, while total assets rose by 0.5% quarter-on-quarter. (Profitability) - Operating income to sales (5.2% to 5.6%) and pre-tax income to sales (5.5% to 6.2%) rose year-on-year. (Financial stability) - The debt ratio (101.4% to 101.4%) and total borrowings and bonds payable to total assets (26.1% to 26.2%) remained at the similar level as last quarter.”
Korea Intelligence | Technology
Online Shopping Over the Last 20 Years On June 16, Statistics Korea released a report covering the growth of online and mobile shopping in Korea over the last 20 years. Overall online transactions (which include mobile) continue to make solid gains in share of all retail shopping, especially since the advent of mobile shopping, which Statistics Korea started tracking in 2013. The report further illustrated that since at least 2010, Koreans have conducted larger percentages of their retail transactions online than other major countries in the region.
Online share of all retail continues to grow, especially with mobile shopping. While online share grew an average of 0.9 percentage points per year from 2010-2013, it grew by an average of 1.85 percentage points per year from 2013-2015, after mobile shopping became more widely used.
Data Statistics Korea, Chart and Translation KBLA
Mobile shoppingâ€™s share of all online sales grew from 17.0% in 2013, to nearly half by 2015.
Data Statistics Korea, Chart and Translation KBLA
Korea Intelligence | Technology
Security Risks Associated with IoT On May 18, the Financial Security Institute (FSEC) published a brief report on potential security risks to IoT networks. FSEC comes to the conclusion that careful consideration is necessary when designing IoT devices and networks, as it can be comparatively difficult to apply and maintain a high level of security when it comes to the various dispersed sensors and low power devices that constitute an IoT network (that is, difficult relative to security on traditional computer and mobile networks).
Data KISA and FSEC, Table and Translation KBLA
Korea Intelligence | Risk Management
2015 Survey on Intellectual Property Disputes On May 31, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) issued the results of a survey it conducted on intellectual property disputes within the country during 2015. There were 152 respondent companies in total, 127 of which had accused others of IP violations, with 398 total cases. In general, venture businesses and SMEs were much more likely to bring disputes regarding patents, while larger companies were more likely to bring disputes regarding trademarks. SMEs both brought the most cases and were the subject of the most cases, although that may be due to their large representation on the survey.
287 representative cases selected by KIPO show that, at least among respondent companies, SMEs were the most common type of entity against which claims were brought, account for almost three-quarters of the total. SMEs were also the most likely to bring cases, although it may be accounted for at least in part by their large representation in the survey.
Data KIPO, Chart and Translation KBLA
Data KIPO, Chart and Translation KBLA
Korea Intelligence | Risk Management
Government Air Pollution Response Plan On June 3, the Ministry of the Environment issued a press release announcing the governmentâ€™s joint response plan for dealing with elevated levels of air pollution, to include particulate matter. The plan mainly focuses on reducing sources of emissions and the promotion of new environmentally friendly products and industries. According to the report, the goal of the plan is to, at the end of ten years, bring air quality in Seoul into line with that of recent (2015) air quality levels of major European cities.
The report estimates that between 30 and 50% of air pollution comes from foreign sources (mainly China), although at times of high concentration, that figure can peak to 60 to 80%. The remaining air pollution is believed to come from domestic sources, with diesel automobiles being blamed as the chief source within the Seoul Capital Area.
Data ME, Table and Translation KBLA
Data ME, Table and Translation KBLA
Implementation of the new “Corporate Restructuring Promotion Act” and the National Assembly’s approval of the amendment to the “Debtor Rehabilitation and Bankruptcy Act” Implementation of the new “Corporate Restructuring Promotion Act” Since the Corporate Restructuring Promotion Act expired as of December 31, 2015, there was concern for the prompt and efficient processes for the restructuring and improvement of defaulting corporations. Accordingly, on March 18, 2016, the National Assembly enacted the new Corporate Restructuring Promotion Act (the “CRPA”) for the stability and development of the economy and financial markets by promoting ongoing corporate restructuring. Furthermore, the Enforcement Decree for the CRPA was enacted on April 29, 2016 and the Regulations for Financial Institutions for the Promotion for Corporate Restructuring was enacted on May 3, 2016 to also assist in the promotion of corporate restructuring and rehabilitation. The major provisions of the CRPA are as follows: 1. The new CRPA addressed the issue of fairness by expanding the scope of the participants and applicability of the CRPA. • Participants: has been changed from only financial institutions who are creditors to all financial creditors. • Applicability: has been changed from only corporations with credit borrowing limits of KRW 50 billion or more to all corporations. - For the effectiveness of the program, institutional investors such as pension funds and mutual aid/benefit organizations shall also participate. - Applicability of the CRPA is also extended to small and medium sized businesses. • However, since the promptness and effectiveness expected from the implementation of the CRPA can be undermined if all financial creditors
participate in the procedures under the CRPA, the main creditor bank may exclude small claim creditors or debenture holders by gaining approval at the financial creditors’ meeting. • The application of the CRPA can be excluded if actual benefits of the procedures under the CRPA are expected to be insignificant. Specifically, public institutions, foreign corporations, financial institutions, corporations undergoing rehabilitation procedures or corporations with credit borrowing limits of less than KRW 5 billion can be excluded from the application of the CRPA. 2. The basic rights of the interested parties participating in the procedures under the CRPA are strengthened as follows: • Increased protection of property rights: protection for the rights of creditors who are oppose to the procedures has been increased by expanding the applicability of appraisal rights. Under the old version of the CPRA, the exercise of appraisal rights was only possible for the commencement of collective management procedures, claim adjustments or resolutions for new credit expansion. Under the new CPRA, appraisal rights can be exercised for the establishment and amendment of corporate improvement plans and the extension of collective management procedures. • The measures for reflecting the opinions of the debtor corporation and small claim creditors have been added as follows: - Corporations: A Grievance Committee for defaulting corporations was established. The objection to the result of the credit evaluation is also made possible. - Small claim creditors: Voting requirements at the creditors’ meeting have been changed (if a
Legal analysis provided by Lee & Ko.
Legal Analysis certain creditor holds 75% or more of the voting power, approval of 2/5 of all of the creditors is required). 3. The efficiency of corporate restructuring was also improved as follows: • Creditor financial institutions may take certain measures under the CRPA for defaulting corporations which has not commenced a workout or a rehabilitation. • For the prevention of nonfunctional corporation due to a long period of restructuring, periodic evaluations and disclosures of the progress of the restructuring were introduced. The National Assembly’s approval of the amendment to the “Debtor Rehabilitation and Bankruptcy Act” In response to the requests for a more fair and efficient restructuring process from creditors and debtors, the amendment to the Debtor Rehabilitation and Bankruptcy Act (the “Bankruptcy Act”), which improved and supplemented the rehabilitation procedures, was passed at the National Assembly. The amendment will be implemented four months after the National Assembly’s approval.
The major items of the amendment to the Bankruptcy Act 1. Measures for procuring additional funding were introduced • Creditors who provide new loans are explicitly granted the right to present opinions and the right to request information from the administrator. • If the new loan is for a particular purpose, debtor / administrator / manager shall report matters related to the execution of such funds to the court. • The opinion of the creditors’ meeting shall be provided for the appointment of the investigation committee member for rehabilitation procedures. After the commencement of rehabilitation procedures, if the person who wishes to provide a new loan to the debtor requests information on the debtor’s business and asset status, such information may be provided to the new creditor to the extent necessary for the loan, after reporting to the investigation committee member. 2. Protections for commercial creditors have increased
Any claim for the products provided to the debtor during the continuous ordinary course of business within 20 days of the commencement of the rehabilitation procedures is deemed as a claim for the public interest. • Regarding the compliance of the principle of equal treatment which is one of the requirements for the approval of the rehabilitation plan, “preferential treatment in repayment for the claims of small and medium businesses was added for those small and medium business who are the counterparties to the debtor in cases where non-repayment would have significant adverse effects on the continuation of the business of the” creditor” . 3. The free package system was introduced • Creditors of the majority of the debts of the debtor or the debtor who has obtained consent of such creditor may submit a preliminary rehabilitation plan prior to the filing of the application of the commencement of rehabilitation. Compared to the submission of the preliminary rehabilitation plan under the existing Bankruptcy Act (only the creditor for the majority of the debts of the debtor is allowed to submit the preliminary rehabilitation plan prior to the filing of the application of the commencement of rehabilitation , the amendment also allows the debtor to submit its plan and the submission of the preliminary rehabilitation plan is restricted to the period prior to the commencement of rehabilitation. These changes are expected to contribute to the actual practicality and efficiency of the preliminary rehabilitation plan. • Creditors other than the creditor who submitted the preliminary rehabilitation plan may consent to such plan by written consent addressed to the court during the response period set forth by the court pursuant to Article 240(2) of the Bankruptcy Act. • The person who wishes to submit the preliminary rehabilitation plan, may do so by submitting a written submission including the list of creditors and matters set forth in Article 92(1) of the Bankruptcy Act in a form required under the rules of the Supreme Court prior to the commencement of the rehabilitation procedures. • The list of rehabilitation creditors, rehabilitation security interest
Legal Analysis holders, shareholders, equity interest holders submitted by the person who submitted preliminary rehabilitation plan shall be deemed as the list set forth in Article 147(1) of the Bankruptcy Act. • Once the preliminary rehabilitation plan is submitted, the commencement date for the reporting of the rehabilitation claim, rehabilitation of security right, shares, and equity interests shall be the date on which the commencement of the rehabilitation is determined. 4. Participation of creditors in the rehabilitation procedures has been expanded • Major creditors of the debtor are granted a right to propose an opinion for the formation of the creditors’ association. • For the appointment of the third party administrator, the creditors’ association may recommend the candidates for the administrator. 5. Other improvements • Notwithstanding the general provisions on jurisdiction, rehabilitation and bankruptcy cases with 300 or more creditors or for debts above a certain amount set by the Supreme Court Rules may be submitted to Seoul Central District Court.
Comments and the Role of Lee & Ko Restructuring & Insolvency Team Corporate restructuring system can be divided into public restructuring under the Bankruptcy Act led by the court and private restructuring under the new CRPA led by the creditors’ association. The newly enacted CRPA addressed some of the legal and practical problems raised under the old version of the CRPA and as a result, benefits to economy and financial markets through the promotion and ongoing restructuring are expected. In line with the enactment of the new CRPA, amendments which introduced ways of procuring new funding, protection of commercial claims, and the free package system were made to the Bankruptcy Act. Therefore, increased funding during the rehabilitation procedures is made possible and it is expected that more companies will utilize the rehabilitation procedures. Considering the needs for deal structure planning and appropriate restructuring procedures, Lee & Ko’s Corporate Restructuring Team consists of experts in the fields of M&A, work-outs, corporate rehabilitation, M&A and DIP Financing, who have many years of experience in rehabilitation related work, and are capable of efficiently handling complex corporate restructuring for their clients.
Jung Hyun LEE Partner
Jung Hyun LEE is a partner in the Insolvency & Restructuring Group. Since joining Lee & Ko in 2004, he specializes in bankruptcy related matters including bankruptcy litigation, resolution of bankruptcy disputes, and petition in bankruptcy or rehabilitation proceedings. Mr. Lee holds a B.A. from Seoul National University, College of Business and an LL.M. from the University of Washington Law School. He completed his legal training at the Judicial Research and Training Institute of the Supreme Court of Korea and is admitted to the Korean Bar.
Kwang Bae PARK Partner
Wan Shik LEE is a partner and head of the Insolvency & Restructuring Practice Group. He is a prominent expert in the areas of civil litigation, white collar crime and corporate insolvency. While serving as a judge for twelve years, he has handled many prominent civil and criminal trials. In particular, during his tenure as a judge with the Bankruptcy Division of the Seoul Central District Court, he handled a vast number of insolvency proceedings. After joining Lee & Ko in 2002 Mr. Lee has been in charge of major cases in the field of the insolvency and restructuring. Cases represented by him include: lawsuits about shareholders’ derivatives and numerous other civil and criminal cases; corporate reorganization and rehabilitation procedures sale of companies in bankruptcy or reorganization; advice on acquisition of companies under reorganization; advice on measures for Korean financial institutions in respect of the Lehman Brothers crisis; advice on workout procedures of Korean construction companies.
Asan Institute Retrospect
Searching for Answers to South Korea’s Challenges The government has taken significant steps to address South Korea’s economic challenge posed by low energy price, high youth unemployment, slowed growth, and structural inefficiencies. It remains to be seen, however, whether the latest announced adjustments will be enough to reignite the South Korean economy. Meanwhile, political pundits in Seoul have set their sights on next year’s presidential election as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon emerged as a likely candidate. Will the politicians in Seoul cast aside their differences to address South Korea’s economic problems? Or will gridlock and political infighting prevent necessary reforms? This month’s retrospect provides an overview of late breaking developments in South Korean economy and politics.
Economy The Korea Development Institute (KDI) estimated that the South Korean economy will grow by 2.6% in 2016 - which is 0.4% point lower than the December forecast. Drops in exports and domestic demand are blamed for the adjustment. While acknowledging the impact of restructuring, the KDI noted that unemployment and volatile financial markets could increase economic uncertainties and lead to further contraction. Current account is expected to record a surplus of USD$110 billion. Both exports and imports are expected to decrease by 8.2% and 11.5%, respectively. The Bank of Korea (BoK) announced that the monthly account for April recorded a surplus of USD$3.37 billion. Export of goods decreased by 19.2% and imports also fell by
Authors Han Minjeong, Eun A Jo, J. James Kim, and John J. Lee.
Asan Institute Retrospect
Source: MBC and R&R
18.7%. South Korea has consistently recorded a trade surplus since 2014 despite declining exports due to weak domestic demand. But this was the first time that the decline in exports was larger than that of imports. Presidential Election, 2017 Debate about the South Korean presidential election is gaining momentum as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has all but formally declared his candidacy for the Blue House. During a five day visit to South Korea, Mr. Ban has made
public opinion poll results indicate that Mr. Ban is a clear frontrunner. KORUS FTA Concerns were raised about the implementation of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) when US Ambassador Mark Lippert described the Korean business environment as “not easy.” Citing the legal service market as an example, he urged Korea to work towards a “complete fulfillment of the free trade deal [between Korea and the US].” He also emphasized the need for more deregulation (e.g. regulation of car seat size) as he lamented the possibility of Korea’s loss of appeal to foreign companies. A recent report by Korea TradeInvestment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) confirms growing American dissatisfaction with the implementation of the KORUS FTA. One concern is the growing bilateral trade deficit. Among the 17 FTAs that the US has concluded since NAFTA, KORUS FTA ranks the lowest in terms of trade balance (See below). Recapitalization Fund
Source: KITA K-Stat
numerous comments signaling his willingness to enter the presidential election next year. His term at the UN expires at the end of this year. Media coverage linking Mr. Ban to the presidential election has skyrocketed since May 25. Meanwhile, the latest
The government and the Bank of Korea (BoK) agreed to establish a recapitalization fund worth KRW 11 trillion. Under this arrangement, the BoK will provide KRW 10 trillion and the Korea Asset Management Corporation (KAMCO), KRW 1 trillion. The Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK)
Asan Institute Retrospect functions as a pass-through entity and the Korea Credit Guarantee Fund (KODIT) will guarantee the BoK loan. Skeptics criticized the latest move by suggesting that the bailout is an excessive use of public finance and falls short of necessary reforms. Functional Adjustment of Public Entities Yoo Il-ho, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Strategy and Finance, announced “the framework for functional adjustment of stateowned enterprises in energy, environment, and education” on June 13. The latest announcement came as part of an ongoing effort to “normalize public entities,” with focus on the energy sector, which suffers from huge debt and inefficiencies. The government outlined four objectives: i) unify overlapping businesses dispersed across different organizations; ii) reduce debt and size of non-core business functions; iii) open mono/ oligopolistic public sectors to private investors; and iv) improve financial transparency. The plan calls for downsizing the Korea Coal Corporation (KOCOAL) and the Korea Resource Corporation (KORES). Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) and Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) are to sell non-core business assets. Ultimately, the overseas resource
development function of KORES will be moved to KNOC and KOGAS, while their existing portfolios will also be reduced. Under the current arrangement, both the electricity and gas markets should be opened to private retailers. Details are to be released in the months ahead. Eight corporations – Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)’s five daughter companies, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP), KEPCO KDN, and Korea Gas Technology Corporation (KOGAS-Tech) –are to be publicly traded as of 2017. Labor unions opposed the measure calling it a step toward privatization, but the government maintained that it will be the majority shareholder with control of more than 50% of the total stock offering. Precedents suggest that this move may not be easy. In 2001, the government divided KEPCO’s electricity generation business into 6 companies and tried to list the Korea South-East Power Company on the public market. However, the attempt failed due to a large gap in the government and the market’s offering price. Energy companies came under serious scrutiny for recording huge losses after failed investments in overseas energy resources during the Lee Myung-bak presidency. The government’s short-sighted energy policies have been criticized for making investments when commodity prices were high and sold when prices were low.
1 “KDI 경제전망, 2016 상반기,” KDI, 2016년 5월 24일. 2 “2016년 4월 국제수지(잠정),” 한국은행, 2016년 6월 1일. 3 “新보호무역 시대, 낡은 수출전략으론 먹고 살 수 없다,” 동아일보, 2016년 6월 2일. 4 Date: May 29-30; sample size: 1,000; margin of error: +3.1 at the 95% confidence level. 5 “리퍼트 美대사 ‘한국서 사업 어려워… FTA 완전한 이행 필요’,” 동아일보, 2016년 6월 2일. 6 “리퍼트가 지적한 ‘車 좌석넓이 규제’… 54년간 소형차 개발 가로막은 주범,” 문화일보, 2016년 6월 2일. 7 Document available here (in Korean): http://www.globalwindow.org/gw/publishdata/GWPDIN020M.html?BBS_ ID=30&MENU_CD=M10503&UPPER_MENU_CD=M10501&MENU_STEP=2&ARTICLE_ID=5037701. 8 “구조조정 실탄, 韓銀이 10兆 정부가 2兆 댄다,” 조선일보, 6월 9일. 9 “정책금융 수술은 빠진 구조조정 대책,” 중앙일보, 2016년 6월 10일; “차기정권에 조선·해운 부실폭탄 돌리는게 구조조정인가,” 동아일보, 2016년 6월 9일. 10 “기능조정 보도자료,” 기획재정부, 2016년 6월 13일. 11 http://www.mosf.go.kr/policy/policy34/sub_2_1_2.html 12 “55년만에 깨지는 韓電 독점…전기료 상승 막는 게 숙제,” 조선일보, 2016년 6월 15일. 13 “’공모가 이견’ 남동발전 실패 전철 가능성,” 경향신문, 2016년 6월 14일. 14 “MB땐 48조 올인, 이번엔 메스…정권따라 냉온탕 자원개발,” 중앙일보, 2016년 6월 15일.
Like It Or Not, Korean Companies Face E-Discovery Issues Even In Arbitration T
hough changes in the US Federal Discovery Rules as well as case law such as Zubulake have escalated the Electronically Stored Information ( ESI) costs as it relates to electronic discovery or discovery of ESI documents and information (E-Discovery) in the US, Korean companies have remained relatively complacent about it until the Dupont v Kolon case. In the Dupont v Kolon case, Dupont sued Kolon over trade secret misappropriation and requested extensive discovery, including E-Discovery. It became apparent that Kolon failed to save numerous emails that resulted in the Court not only issuing a scathing opinion admonishing Kolon for failing to follow US E-Discovery Guidelines, but also court sanctions and an adverse jury instruction informing the jury that failing to save emails could be interpreted in a negative lighti.e. willful destruction of ESI . The jury award was close to $1 Billion US, which was overturned on other grounds resulting in an out of court settlement. Nonetheless, the Dupont v Kolon case and a few others caught Korean companies off guard as the E-Discovery requirements in the US are very onerous. Failure to properly save emails and other ESI can result in not only court sanctions but loss of the trial. It appears, that except for a few companies which experience litigation in the US on a regular basis, most Korean companies have tried to shield themselves from E-discovery obligations and costs through arbitration.Though arbitration does decrease exposure to the burdensome and ballooning demands of ESI rules in the US, it does not completely protect companies from ESI requirements
and E-Discovery obligations. As more and more jurisdictions grapple with ESI and potential obligations of litigants to properly handle and save ESI, it is becoming apparent that E-Discovery obligations in some form or another are here to stay. Therefore, companies involved in arbitration still need to implement ESI processes to handle discovery issues under arbitration rules. As Korean companies have increasingly embraced the idea of arbitration as the most preferred method of international dispute resolution, Korean arbitration has become more popular. However, as noted by some arbitration specialists, the arbitration business in Korea is still lagging behind more advanced countries in some respects. Like Singapore and Hong Kong, Korea has a well established arbitration law, going back to 1966, when it first enacted the Korean Arbitration Act. Like Singapore and Hong Kong, Korea has also one officially recognized arbitral institution - the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB) which was officially established in 1970. In fact, Korea has enacted a wide range of mediation procedures within governmental agencies or entities besides the KCAB due to the popularity of arbitration and mediation in Korea. However, as Korean companies increasingly use arbitration as the choice of dispute resolution, it is very possible that they will be blindsided when it comes to E-Discovery and ESI requirements. For Korean companies facing international arbitration under ICC Arbitration Rules ( Rules), the prospect for having to produce ESI
Bryan Hopkins Special Counsel, Lee & Ko email@example.com
Korea Voices documents is quite real. Though the ICC Arbitration Rules do not specifically mention the production of ESI documents and E-Discovery obligations, Article 15 (2) of the Rules requires the arbitral tribunal to “ensure that each party has a reasonable opportunity to present its case”. It appears therefore, that the arbitrators and parties to ICC arbitration must themselves decide how to handle ESI including how many documents and under what circumstances such documents should be produced to establish the case as needed. Though the arbitral institutions have been rather slow in addressing ESI concerns, in the last few years a number of arbitral organizations have appointed task forces to study issues raised by ESI and to determine to what extent arbitral rules should be amended to accommodate ESI. It should be noted that some arbitral institutions have even decided to amend or already have amended rules to accommodate ESI. Such institutions such as the International Center for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) have guidelines governing and addressing the production of ESI documents. In fact the IBA Rules of Taking Evidence in International Commercial Arbitration (IBA Rules) provides more detailed guidelines which addresses the production of ESI documents. Therefore, it is apparent that the production of ESI documents may be required in some form. The number and scope of ESI documents pursuant to E-Discovery most likely will be determined by the arbitrators with input from the parties. ESI greatly expands the number of documents that a party to arbitration or litigation must produce. The number of ESI documents, categories of documents and the numerous locations where such documents maybe located obviously increases the cost of arbitration. It is hoped that the ESI production process is adequately addressed by the arbitrators with attention to fair and efficient management of the
arbitral process. There is no doubt that E-Discovery has become a major problem for non–US companies as well as US companies when litigation takes place in the US. Because of the expansive nature of “discovery in the US,” foreign companies involved in US litigation face the costly and time consuming burden of providing some form of ESI documents in accordance with the US Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or case law, etc. However, upon reviewing the IBA Rules and various arbitral rules it is clear that ESI documents will also be required in arbitral proceedings. This presents a problem for many Korean companies which do not have a defined ESI Plan. The dilemma facing Korean companies when dealing with ESI in arbitral proceedings is the scope of ESI documents that may be required in the arbitral proceeding. The scope may depend on the location of the arbitration as well as the governing law. If arbitration is held in the US in accordance with the law of a particular state such as NY, the odds are US licensed lawyers shall either sit on the arbitral proceedings or shall represent the parties in the dispute. US licensed attorneys are more familiar with E-Discovery and the production of numerous ESI documents as well as an “expansive discovery process”. Such arbitrators or arbitration lawyers may demand or expect numerous ESI documents. Arbitration in Europe or elsewhere, especially in Civil Law countries, with limited use of discovery, will most probably require less use of ESI and a more restrictive discovery process. It is possible that arbitral organizations may adopt the general principles that US and other national courts have adopted with regards to spoliation ( destruction) of the evidence as it pertains to ESI. If ESI is negligently or intentionally destroyed in a way that could raise a red flag, it is likely that many arbitral organizations will view that negatively and impose sanctions.
Korea Voices Even the arbitral panel could adopt an adverse inference when it comes to the arbitral award. In either case, Korean companies are now at a crossroads. They can either pretend ESI is not an issue or they can prepare for eventual demand of ESI in arbitration as well as litigation. To be proactive, companies should therefore pay attention to the basic steps of E-Discovery such as: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
Preservation of ESI Collection of ESI Processing of ESI Reviewing ESI Production of ESI
Only with an adequate E-Discovery Plan in place can Korean companies hope to satisfy E-Discovery demands or related issues presented in arbitration as well as US litigation. This includes not only the implementation of processes that facilitate the easy collection of electronic data but use of experts and ESI systems to assist with the
indexing, reviewing and retrieval of ESI documents. To mitigate legal costs associated with cross border litigation or arbitration, it is highly recommended that Korean companies implement a sound E-Discovery Plan that locates, collects and indexes ESI records that may be relevant in future arbitrations as well as litigation. Otherwise companies face the same fate as Kolon and a host of other companies in the US and elsewhere which failed to consider the implications of ESI in todaysâ€™ highly technical and electronically communicative world.
Mr. Bryan Hopkins is speaking on the subject of managing legal considerations in a crisis in the upcoming KBLA Professional Series Seminar: Crisis Management.
Longing for a Way of Life We Once Chose to Transform Professor Jocelyn Clark Professor, Pai Chai University KBLA Arts Ambassador firstname.lastname@example.org
wo years ago, the world’s biggest IKEA came to Seoul. Larger than the chain’s Stockholm store, its floor space rivals that of the Louvre Museum in Paris. Around the time IKEA opened, I had been looking for a chair in which to write, but circumstances intervened that would remove any need for me to cross the river and enter the new megastore. My maternal grandmother passed away. Of Norwegian descent, she was born in Minnesota, but lived most of her life as the wife of a naval officer and moved constantly. They were married when my grandfather was stationed at Pearl Harbor, HI, and subsequently lived everywhere from Florida, to New England, to California. When my grandfather got a more stationary position at the Pentagon, they moved into a house in Washington, D.C., decorated and furnished with a highly personalized array of hand-crafted furniture, keepsakes, and other objects gathered over a lifetime—the roots they pulled up and replanted with every move to keep themselves grounded. When she passed away two years ago, I too, yearning for grounding, had some of her furniture shipped across the Pacific to my little house in Seoul. Among these pieces was a small, carved-wood, close-to-the-floor and friendly-toshort-legs, rocking chair in which my great-grandmother had rocked my grandmother, my grandmother had rocked my mother, and I now rock my laptop with only slightly less love. Last year, I settled into this chair to edit the English text for a book on the architect of Seoul’s New City Hall, Kerl Yoo. As I sat amid the newly arrived artifacts of my mother’s family’s history, I was struck by the architect’s thoughts on how Koreans have come to relate to their metropolitan living spaces:
I think that there are several tragic aspects of apartment living in Korea today. One is that apartment dwellers possess the spaces in the form of “ration” without being given any design choices. Then they are not allowed to make any modifications or improvements, even though they are the “owners.” Even the simplest home maintenance task, such as changing a light bulb, repairing a leaking faucet, or hanging a picture on the [concrete] wall is considered the province of the home maintenance professional. Residents do none of the maintenance on their homes. As an architect, it strikes me as tragic that so many people lead their lives in environments that they are unable to customize to their own tastes and uses. 1 Yoo’s nostalgia, and my own, seems rare among urban dwellers of today’s Korea—a country that comes across as a place trying hard to forget. Or at least, there is a vast cultural difference between Koreans and Americans in thinking about living spaces—use, furnishing and decoration, and meaning. Homes are not places of entertainment here. They are extremely private, minimalist enclaves, with rooms for multiple uses and frequent moves. They are not the personalized mini-museums that reflect one’s aesthetic to all who enter. Korea is filled with modern-age consumers, but acquisition dresses up differently here. Status flows from address, mostly, and how modern/urban/ global one’s apartment is. When my neighbors in Korea move, the old furniture goes out on the curb to make room for the latest. In the past couple of years, I have come by five hand-crafted mother-of-pearl mirrors, two black lacquer chests,
1 Yoo, Kerl. 2015. Kerl Yoo. Seoul: CNB media, p. 39.
Korea Voices and one bandaji style chest, as well as a few decent paintings, all left on the side of the street. On Ebay, a “Vintage Korean Black Lacquer and Inlaid Mother of Pearl Chest” that looks only slightly less “vintage” than the one I rescued is currently selling for $2,500. The last mirror I picked up—black lacquer and motherof-pearl with beveled glass—was actually the same size as my car and almost didn’t fit into the bed of the truck of a passer-by who eventually helped me take it home for free—only because he was so perplexed that I would want it, when I could go get a new mirror at E-mart for the price of his help.
technologies and the disorienting rapid economic and social change new technology brings on. In the 1880s, during Europe’s Industrial Revolution, an “Arts & Crafts Movement” grew out of concern for the effects of industrialization on both traditional skills and design. John Ruskin, born exactly 100 years before my grandmother, wrote in his influential The Stones of Venice
The last mirror I picked up...was actually the same size as my car and almost didn’t fit into the bed of the truck of a passer-by who eventually helped me take it home for free—only because he was so perplexed Meanwhile, the man whose mirror it might have been sits on that I would want it the 30th floor of a new residential high-rise waiting for IKEA to deliver a new bedroom set. In Korea, where manual labor is “low class,” IKEA service professionals even assemble the pieces for an extra fee, which misses the point of IKEA for any Lutheran Scandinavian. One of the first thing one sees on their Swedophilic blue and gold website— the company is actually owned by a Dutch firm—is the pronouncement that “many, not few, shall be able to create the home they want and dream of. And when you put your heart into your work, it’s then you really can make a difference.” This summons to work seems to refer to the work of putting IKEA’s products together yourself. Express your individualism, your autonomy, your creative authorship, and experience the moral satisfaction that should come with it—for having been thrifty and for having participated in handson labor, the Protestant ethic. Here in Korea, IKEA’s instructions comes off as a call to continue to put our hearts into working long days to build the national economy while “workers” take care of any personal or home maintenance we may require. Often, over the course of history, crafts and craftsmanship have been raised as moral correctives to alienating and dehumanizing
(published between 1851 and 1853) of the effects of industrial change on art, lamenting the loss of the craftsman (a gentleman who is free, creative, and works with his hands) to the soulless, repetitive, inhuman machine. Ruskin, tied the moral and social health of the nation to the qualities embodied in one’s work: [T]he workman ought often to be thinking, and the thinker often to be working, and both should be gentlemen, in the best sense. … [I]t is only by labour that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labour can be made happy, and the two cannot be separated with impunity.2 In the fall of 2014, the same year IKEA opened in Seoul, the ROK “book city” of Paju, located up near the border of the two Koreas, held a special exhibition of the work of the Kelmscott Press, founded by Ruskin’s follower William Morris, an artist and designer who equated industrial progress with “barbarity” and believed that “without dignified,
2 Joseph Bizup. 2003. Manufac-
turing Culture: Vindications of Early Victorian Industry. Charlottesville and London: University of Virginia Press, p. 187.
Korea Voices creative human occupation, people became disconnected from life.”3 The Japanese aesthete Yanagi Sōetsu (柳宗悦 1889–1961), who was born in the same year the Meiji constitution was promulgated and Japan’s first Imperial Diet was convened along Prussian and British lines, came across Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement through his acquaintance with the potter Bernard Leach (1887–1979), who lived and worked in Japan from 1909 to 1920. On Yanagi’s first trip to Korea in 1916, only six years after Japan’s “annexation” of the peninsula, having “discovered” beauty in ordinary and utilitarian objects created by the “nameless and unknown” craftsmen of Korea, he coined the term mingei, or “handcrafted art of ordinary people” (民 衆的な工藝 minshū-teki-na kōgei 민중적인공예), and went on to lead a philosophical and artistic movement around this idea—the “Mingei Movement”—in Japan. While Yuko Kikuchi and others have by now written books on Yanagi’s “Oriental Orientalism,” Yanagi, like other post-Meiji intellectuals, was struggling to define a new Japanese cultural ethnic identity— Japanese essence (kokutai 國 體)—in an environment of sudden and overwhelming change. In his 1929 Harvard lecture series titled “Criterion of Beauty in Japan,” Yanagi “articulated the innate and original Japaneseness in Japanese folk-crafts,” and crystallized his concept of “national and ethnic identity in art.”4 By the time the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum (日本 民藝館 일본민예관) was established in 1936, Mingei theory was already showing its national imperial colors. One is reminded of Richard Wagner and the “pure aesthetics” of his
3 https://multimediaman.wordpress. com/2014/03/14/william-morris-1834-1896/ 4 Yuko Kikuchi. 2004. Japanese Modernisation and Mingei Theory: Cultural Nationalism and Oriental Orientalism. London and New York: Routledge, p. 109.
gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork) (and its relation to the German word for the decorative arts, kunsthandwerk), with its mystical power to “unite the different classes of modern society under one great national identity.” We all know how that ended. While Yanagi’s contemporary critics in Korea were fierce, Koreans who embraced his early views eventually emerged, particularly with the Minjung Culture Movement in Korea in the 1970s and 80s and its elevation of the “bottled up sorrow” of han (恨) as a core Korean aesthetic. In 1979, the movie director Im Kwon-taek, in Genealogy (族譜 족보) (adapted from a short story by Kajiyama Toshiyuki), used Yanagi’s own words to discuss Korea’s han. Indeed, the main character in the film, Tani, is based on Yanagi himself and is used as “the spiritual arbitrator between the colonizer and the colonized,” according to Chungmoo Choi5. In the story, the Korean protagonist, facing the prospect of being forced to take Japanese names under the policy Naisen Ittai 内鮮一体 내선일체 (Japan and Korea as “one body”), turns to ceramics, a form in which he sees a repository of the people’s sorrow and longing: The fate of the Joseon people, who were pursued and oppressed, had to seek out a world of solace from their desolation and longing. The beauty of Joseon is not a form or a color, but it is the curves of its lines. Hidden within these lines is all the unspeakable animosity, sorrow, and longing of their nation. What in this world can match Joseon’s sorrowfilled beauty? If you can’t see the history hidden in these lines, then you can’t enter the hearts of the Joseon people. Joseon may look
5 Chungmoo Choi. 2002. “The
politics of Gender, Aestheticism, and Cultural Nationalism in Sopyonje and the Genealogy.” In Im Kwon-taek: The Making of a Korean National Cinema, David E. James, Kyung Hyun Kim, eds. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, p. 124.
Korea Voices weak on the outside, but from its art we see it is a strong nation within.”6 Nostalgia, as the American cultural anthropologist Renato Rosaldo points out, often involves a mourning for the passing of traditions that we ourselves have intentionally (and too often inadvertently) transformed. As he notes, we “valorize innovation and then yearn for more stable worlds, whether these reside in our own past, in other cultures, or in the conflation of the two.”7 When people are not able to adapt quickly enough to change, when progress is not properly managed, excessive loss may lead to excessive longing and a desire to assuage it by endowing traditional art objects and forms, indeed the past itself (when Britain was great, when America was great, when Japan was great) with qualities of perfection—which fuels fantasies of national superiority and longexpired dreams of prosperity through isolationism. I often write about the toll being taken on traditional music by the upcoming generation’s indifference to it. But perhaps young Koreans are right not to be nostalgic. The sanitizing of space to which Yoo refers, and which comes along with all of the other expediencies of city living, does not have to be seen as a bad thing. There is a flexibility to it, a lightness—possibilities for improvisation, possibilities for flight. America used to be a place of forgetting—for its white immigrants, anyway. We never knew where my grandfather came from, aside from the clues communicated by his skin color. His family, like so many others, arrived in America and started over there, just as I do every day in Korea.
Members/djames/clips/reflexive-ethnography-genealogy-chokbo/view 7 Renato Rosaldo. 1989. “Imperialist Nostalgia,” in Representations, No. 26, Special Issue: Memory and Counter-Memory. University of California Press, p. 108.
The Strange, Secret, Wondrous Life of Information Information is at the center of every modern-day business endeavor, but all too often, information has its own set of rebellious, amorphous desires and plans.
e all know information is important to doing business. It has always been so. It is said that the first use of the telescope was to see distant trade ships coming on the horizon and to, thereby, get an edge in negotiating with sellers who were still unaware that additional supply was soon to arrive. More information, better information, equaled business advantage then and it still does today. A good understanding of the nature and tendencies of information would seem to be very valuable in that case. So let’s examine some of the interesting things about information itself both for business in general, and in particular where it applies to predicting what is going to happen next. Assertion 1: Information doesn’t just create value, information is value.
Consider the tin cans in the picture below. Imagine you go to a supermarket with the intention of purchasing some tomato soup. In that supermarket there is a box of soup cans that have lost their labels. These cans each sell for 100 KRW. We are told by the store that there is nothing dangerous or unhealthy about eating whatever is in these cans as the only thing strange about them is that they have lost their labels. In fact, there is a good chance that some of the cans in the box contain tomato soup, but we have no way of verifying that. We can gamble and purchase some cans for 100 KRW, hoping to get what we want, or we can just purchase the cans with the label intact for 1000 KRW, or 10 times the price. Now, since we have been told that the cans contain good food, and some of them may contain tomato soup, we can see that the label, is equal to 90% of the value of the product.
Rodney J. Johnson President, Erudite Risk email@example.com
Information is expensive, so we design shortcuts to replace actually knowing in many of the things we do. We don’t have the time, the energy, or the expertise, so we find cheaper ways to know.
Korea Voices With no difference in the contents, and the only difference being a lack or possession of knowledge, we can see that the knowledge portion causes the greatest swings in value in any given product. The product itself can be exactly the same, but the value of the product is driven by our handling and communication of the information that surrounds it.
Cheap Proxies We use branding and brands to stand for actual knowledge. We judge books by their covers. Trusted Parties We judge restaurants by how many people are sitting in them. Different Parties Provide Different Types of Validation We let critics tell us if we’ll like or dislike something. Or we don’t and instead let our friends tell us.
Assertion 2: Information functions as a clock, allowing us to judge where we are on any cycle by analyzing the information we are seeing at the time. In a crisis situation, for example, we can expect to see different kinds of information coming from the various different sources at different points in the crisis lifecycle. If we don’t know where we are in the crisis lifecycle, how close we are to a crisis event, whether or not we have to make key decisions, etc. we can get help by looking at the information we are hearing eminating from the environment. External organizations of various types, from government to NGOs to private entities all have their own playbooks regarding communicating in a crisis. If we learn the tendencies of each source, we can discern what conversations are going on internally at these organizations and how each one is analyzing the situation.
Furthermore, information that we obtain very early on in a situation has fundamentally different qualities from that acquired later. Early vs. Late Information Generally speaking, the earlier we can get information the more valuable it is. This is because we have time to act on it. We can maximize our possible responses. Early information informs action, but late information is often acquired when action is already critical. Therefore, late information is more critical to have, but options are already constrained. Early information is usually more ambiguous. It hasn’t gelled yet. Late information is more defined, more exact, more trustworthy. Because of these qualities, late information is easier to make sense of and easier to use in getting buy-in from other stakeholders. Everyone is willing to act on information that is literally written on the wall. You can probably see where this is all going. Early information is easier to gather and put to use, but harder to get buy-in for because no one realizes a mandate for immediate action.
Assertion 3: Organizations face risk from internal and external sources and good information/ intelligence is more important for mitigating external risks than internal risks. Over the last 40 years or so, modern business institutions have become very good at managing internal risk. We have come up with sophisticated controls and systems of penalties and rewards to maximize performance while minimizing both intentional (fraud, corruption, conflicts) and unintentional (errors of strategy and tactics) disruptions. We focused on fixing internal risks because those were the ones we could control. We ignored external risks because those were the ones we couldnâ€™t control. Now, however, we can and should do better by getting better at how we collect, analyze, and manage external intelligence. Assertion 4: By creating a system of managing the intelligence that is available to us, we can predict the future. This is true not just for risk-related issues, but for marketing, sales,
and all other types of competitive intelligence. Specific intelligence requirements we select are called â€œindicators.â€? These indicators drive our understanding of a situation. Examine the categories of indicators below, each of which may apply in a particular crisis scenario.
Indicators are stand-ins for actually knowing what is going to happen next.
We really don’t need to know everything there is to know, or even “the truth.” All we need is a small window through which we can ascertain what is actually going on.
We pre-select our indicators and then we monitor for them. Pre-selection of indicators is important because there is so much information available in the world that trying to figure out what is important or what should be monitored without them is like drinking from a firehose. There is just too much information to deal with. See the guide below on some of the qualities of indicators and what we
should look for in an indicator. The best indicators are called “triggers.” We call them that because we are implicitly agreeing to trust them to dictate our action. We are saying these specific indicators are so powerful that we are not going to try to outthink them when we see them, we’re just going to act. The tendency to outthink triggers is very dangerous because it means that we may ignore the plans we have created and all of our planning, training, buy-in, and other preparations will go to waste. Triggers serve the role they do because they are brief, relevant, complete and persuasive. We don’t need to go looking for more information, because we know that information is expensive, in terms of time and energy, and that more information won’t necessarily add to our ability to act. The trigger is enough. Once we know what indicators and triggers we should be watching for, we can set up a competitive or risk intelligence monitoring system and really start to benefit from the acquisition of external data and intelligence.
Rodney J. Johnson will be presenting on the subject of operational crisis management on July 7 at the KBLA Professional Series Seminar: Crisis Management.
Special Feature: Making Photos
Getting the Right Angle T
he editors asked that I provide a name for this column. I chose ‘Making Photos,’ since I intend to cover ‘the how’ as opposed to ‘the what’ of photography. We often use the phrase of ‘taking photos’ as if the camera does all the work for us. And for many people and mechanical processes, that is indeed the case. Today, anyone with a smartphone, a point-and-shoot, or even a sophisticated camera with all functions set to auto can create an acceptable image by just pointing and pushing the shutter button. And that is simply taking a photo. Making a photo requires perspective and consideration. Actually a great deal of consideration. Often the starting consideration is composition. Without getting too technical in this month’s column, I wish to focus on this aspect of how to make a strong image. Like
all arts, the difference between a so-so image and something more compelling often comes down largely to composition. There are a number of rules of composition. And as in all arts, rules are meant to be sometimes broken. But first, one must understand the rules. The simplest rule is not to put the subject in the middle of the photograph. There can be exceptions, but this is an excellent starting point. When in doubt, try shifting your viewfinder so that the subject is off center from the left or right, top or bottom. One technique is to imagine one’s camera as a space ship hovering about. Hoover your craft (camera) up and down, left and right. Then consider moving your camera closer to your subject. One old rule in photography is “when in doubt, move closer to your subject – and then, mover closer yet.”
Similarly, if one has a horizon, avoid that horizon running across the image’s middle. It is much more compelling to have the horizon run a third or less from the bottom - or a third or less from the top, whenever appropriate. Here is an example from Mongolia. Keeping the above in mind, the next step is to consider a discovery of the classic artists. The Greeks learned that images are most attractive when laid out using the Golden Ratio grid. For the sketch artist or painter, this grid was often placed on the paper or canvas with the final image being composed upon it. Photographers, however, don’t normally have the luxury to do this outside of the studio. A similar and easier approach is to use a similar grid on an ad hoc basis called the Rule of Thirds. In fact many cameras have built-in grids in their viewfinders for quick reference. The Rule of Thirds is easy to keep in mind since the photographer divides both the horizon and the vertical each with two imaginary or compositional lines. Where these lines intersect are usually considered particularly strong anchor points to place one’s subject, such as an eye of a person or animal or the key element in a landscape or still life.
Tom Coyner Owner/Photographer Onsite Studios Asia firstname.lastname@example.org
All images copyright the author.
Special Feature: Making Photos While in the above example the anchor point is the bottom left, I have found that given a choice, the bottom or top right points tend to be stronger than the corresponding left points. If one reads a newspaper, one will notice the more important news articles tend to be on the right side of the page as people tend to look first to the right before the left. To the left is an example where anchor point is the young manâ€™s bright cap. Sometimes applying the Rule of Thirds is not so obvious but yet potentially effective . The below example uses the monkâ€™s right hand as the lower-right anchor point.
Sometimes, one can break one rule but get by using another rule. In the below photo, the pagoda is smack in the middle of the image. But one can get away with it, since there is also a strong use of Rule of Thirds. The horizontal grid lines separate the lanterns from the temple at the bottom and the forest from the fog at the top. The vertical grid lines touch the bottom stone roof to the right and left of the pagoda in Haein-sa. Other composition guidelines or templates are Golden Spiral and the Triangles. Please note how the below images are cropped slightly different in these cases. Frankly, these tools are pretty difficult to use when composing in camera, but they can be effective in post processing as one considers how to crop an image. Some software tools, such as LightRoom from Adobe, offer composition overlays, including the above-mentioned tools. In the case of Triangles, they naturally lend themselves to Diagonal Lines (see below) compositions, but the concept can be effectively used to best crop an image even where there are no diagonal lines.
Special Feature: Making Photos Diagonal Lines in an image can often make for strong composition. The most readily notice diagonal lines can be found in architecture and landscapes. But diagonal lines can also be found briefly elsewhere. For example, a heads and shoulders portrait of two or more people with largebrimmed hats tilted in a pleasing way can be an opportunity to employ diagonal lines composition.
One tool that one can immediately consider within camera is the Rule of Odds. For some reason, if the number of subjects or key elements number one, three or five, the picture is more pleasing than two or four. The principle pretty much falls apart when the key elements are six and above. But look at photos of your friends and family members. You will notice that when there is just one or three people in the photo, it tends to be stronger than two or four people. But, of course, the same concept works with all major elements, animate and inanimate. Here are some examples. Imagine how these same images would appear if there were just one more or one less similar key elements in these pictures.
Special Feature: Making Photos A good photographer will often be on the out for Leading Lines. The concept is fairly self-explanatory. Here is one example where the crosswalk draws the eye from the man to Dongdae-mun gate, followed by examples shot in Changdeok-gung and at Cheongyecheong Plaza, in Seoul. The following two images were shot in Jeju-do and on Namsan in Seoul.
Similarly and arguable stronger variants of Leading Lines are Vanishing Lines. These are lines that draw the eye from the foreground quickly to the background. Here are a few examples:
One of the most pleasing and playful forms of composition are S-Curves. As the name implies, these are compositions that focus on an S-shaped subject. Streams and rivers are the most common examples, but with an alert eye, the photographer can find other examples. A few examples can be found on the following page.
Special Feature: Making Photos
Tom Coyner is owner/photographer of Onsite Studios in Seoul. He is a photography educator as well commercial photographer. www.onsitestudios.biz 500px.com/TomCoyner seoulman.smugmug.com blogs.angloinfo.com/photographic-eye-on-asia
Patterns can be viewed all about us. They normally represent repetition of lines and shaddows. Often just simple repetition can make up a good picture. But sometimes a necessary element is something that is in contrast to the rest of the patterns. To the right are examples of both without and with a contrasting element.
Special Feature: Making Photos One last composition technique we will review in this column is Framing. This is favorite of both novices and veteran photographers. It can risk being a bit of a cliché, yet this approach can nonetheless be successful. The first example is framing the autumn leafed tree with paper doors. The second is framing with ‘negative space’ or space lacking in detail. The third example, from Changdeokgung’s Huwon or Biwon, frames the pavillion with a tree branch and the line separating the dark water from the ice on the pond.
Final composition suggestion: Even when you are confident you have made a great shot, shoot it again but from a different angle. Also, if you shot the first time with the camera held horizontally, shoot the same again but hold the camera vertically. Again, all of the above rules are meant to be broken. But in photography, as with most things in life, it’s best to first stick with and master the basics. At the same time, don’t let a rule or convention deprive you from making a great photograph. Should you have any comments or suggestions for future column topics, please feel dropping me a line at email@example.com
Korea Events Chamber Events 1
ICCK Kim & Chang Doing Business in India
AMCHAM Joint IPR and IT/Telecoms Committee Meeting
Thursday, July 7, 2016, 9:30 AM-12:00 PM Kim & Chang Office, Northgate Building COST: Free of charge
Wednesday, July 13, 2016, 11:30 AM-1:30 PM Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, Ara 1&2 (6th Fl.)COST: KRW 70,000 for Members, KRW 80,000 for Non-members 260,000 KRW for non-members, 2,400,000 KRW for table (10 seats)
This seminar will deal with the legal challenges that Korean companies may face in India and the following topics will be discussed: acquisition of Indian companies, dispute resolution and antitrust laws.
2 KGCCI KoreanGerman Evening Reception Thursday, July 7, 2016, 6:00 PM-9:00PM Ludwig-Erhard-Saal, IHK Frankfurt, Börsenplatz 4, Frankfurt/Main COST: Not specified
3 ECCK Logistics Industry Seminar Wednesday, July 13, 2016, 4:00 PM-5:10 PM Conference Room at Seoul Square, 5F COST: KRW 30,000 In this seminar, Ms. Ok-Soon Han, the director at cargo marketing team in Incheon Airport will present the following topic: Introduction of new VAT exemption policy for Global Distribution Center in Free Trade Zone and Logistics Industry.
In this meeting, Mr. Rodney Johnson, a president and CEO of Erudite Risk will present the following crucial topic “Security vs. Privacy”.
5 FKCCI Bastille Day 2016 Thursday, July 14, 2016, 7:00 PM-Midnight Floating Island Convention 2F COST: KRW 55,000 This is a FKCCI’s networking event for celebrating the French National DayBastille Day. It features variety food, wine, champagne, cheese and live music.
Korea Events Lectures & Special Interest Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Building Sandcastles in Seoul: Socio-cultural Barriers to Doing Business in South Korea
Pictures from the Past – the charm and revelations of historic Korean postcards
Tuesday, July 12, 2016 7:30 PM-9:00 PM Second floor Residents’ Lounge, Somerset Palace COST: KRW 10,000 for non-members/ KRW 5,000 for students (with student ID)/ free for members This lecture, presented by Dr Judith Cherry will consider the changing range of socio-cultural issues that present challenges to foreign companies trading with and investing in South Korea.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 7:30 PM-9:00 PM Second floor Residents’ Lounge, Somerset Palace COST: KRW 10,000 for non-members/ KRW 5,000 for students (with student ID)/ free for members In this presentation, Norman Thorpe will introduce the variety of Korean postcards and discuss how they came to be published, and show examples of what can be learned from them and why they are a valuable resource.
Korea Events Conferences & Exhibitions 1 Korea International Safety & Health Show Mon, July 4 – Thu, July 7, 2016, 10:00 AM- 5:00 PM COEX, Hall A COST: KRW 3,000 This fair is one of the key event on Security, Safety, Health and Safety Industry subjects.
2 Annual Conference on Life Sciences and Engineering Tue, July 5-Thu, July 7, 2016 Courtyard Marriott Seoul Times Square COST: $75 The conference, organized by higher education forum will cover areas like Provide a Platform for Researchers, Engineers, Academicians as Well as Industrial.
4 Seoul Auto Salon 2016 Thu, July 7 – Sun, July 10, 2016, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM COEX, Hall C&D COST: KRW 10,000 This event showcases products like car tuning services, accessories, car tuning products & equipments, and other similar range of products.
5 2016 Eco Show / K-Farm Thu, July 7 – Sat, July 9, 2016, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM KINTEX, Exhibition Hall 7A COST: Free of charge This exhibition will be held at KINTEX from July 7 to July 9, 2016 and it showcases agricultural equipment and the eco show.
In-cosmetics Korea 2016
The Seoul Illustration Fair 2016
Wed, July 6 – Thu, July 7, 2016, 10:00 AM- 6:00 PM COEX, Hall B COST: KRW 5,000
Fri, July 8 – Mon, July 11, 2016, 10:00AM – 6:00 PM COEX, Hall D COST: Adult KRW 10,000, Student & Children KRW 5,000
This is the only exhibition in Korea dedicated to personal care ingredients and about 200 international suppliers of ingredients, fragrances and services will be presented at the exhibition.
Seoul Illustration Fair is a professional exhibition to introduce illustration and graphic design.
Korea Events Conferences & Exhibitions (Cont’d) 7 Weddex Korea 2016 Autumn Saturday, July 9 – Sunday, July 10 11:00 AM-8:00 PM COEX, Hall B COST: KRW 3,000 This wedding fair will be held at COEX from July 9 to July 10, 2016. It showcases products like Wedding Dresses, Tuxedos, Wedding Photos, Bridal Make-up, Honeymoon Tour, etc.
8 2016 Seoul FCI International Dog Show Saturday, July 9 – Sunday, July 10 KINTEX Hall 8B COST: Not specified Korea Kennel Federation is hosting an international dog show at KINTEX from July 9 to July 10, 2016.
9 Character Licensing Fair 2016 Wednesday, July 13 – Sunday, July 17 10:00 AM-6:00 PM COEX, Hall A, B COST: Adult KRW 8,000, Student KRW 6,000, Children KRW 4,000 This fair will be the network hub for character brand owners, buyers, retailers, licensees, licensors and manufacturers from all around the world.
10 K-Training Week Friday, July 15 – Sunday, July 17 10:00 AM-5:00 PM KINTEX, Exhibition Hall 4A COST: KRW 10,000 Fitness bodybuilding sports training institutions and personal trainers are invited to this event for the education and specialty training in every sector and health training industry development.
11 2016 Franchise Start Up Exhibition Win Win Friday, July 15 – Sunday, July 17 10:00 AM-6:00 PM KINTEX, Exhibition Hall 3A COST: KRW 5,000 This exhibition is especially for those who are start up founders and the headquarters of the franchise companies.
12 The 6th Korea IT Accessory & Smart Device Trade Show 2016 Thursday, July 28 – Saturday, July 30 10:00 AM-6:00 PM COEX Hall C1,2 COST: Not specified This trade show is specialized in mobile accessories and smart devices and it will be held at COEX from July 28 to July 30, 2016.
About the KBLA Korea Business Leaders Alliance Our mission is to serve leaders in Korea, primarily business leaders, but also academics and arts leaders. We bring peer leaders together, help them build relationships, expose them to new ideas and best practices, give them opportunities to interact, publish, demonstrate expertise, and just spend time getting to know one another. We provide information tools and channels for them to interact online and to be informed.
The KBLA also serves business leaders around the world who have a stake in the Korean business environment through our business intelligence reporting service: Korea Intelligence Package.
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About the KBLA Value Chain Advertisers Index EDITOR IN CHIEF Rodney J. Johnson
Erudite Risk www.eruditerisk.com
MANAGING EDITORS Steve McKinney Jocelyn Clark
Grand Hyatt Seoul http://seoul.grand.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html
CONTENT EDITOR Kyle Johnson CONTRIBUTORS Bryan Hopkins Jocelyn Clark Ogan Gurel Tom Coyner John Lee J. James Kim Chang Soo Jin (진창수) Kwang Bae Park (박광배) ADVERTISING Julia Kim (김주희) PUBLIC RELATIONS Jennifer Kim (김잔디)
Value Chain is published monthly by the Korea Business Leaders Alliance on the ground, in Seoul, Korea. Value Chain is a digital-only publication available in PDF and online forms. For advertising and distribution inquiries contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asian Tigers Mobility www.asiantigers-korea.com United Airlines www.united.com McKinney Consulting www.mckinneyconsulting.com Lee & Ko www.leeko.com Mcor www.mcortechnologies.com 인문학콘서트 www.djack.or.kr Vita Coco Korea https://www.facebook.com/VitaCocoKR/ Phytomer www.phytomer.or.kr Fraser Place www.fraserplace.co.kr LetsRun CCC. Walkerhill (Horse Racing Off-Track Betting) www.kra.co.kr/walkerhill KEB Hana Bank http://hanafn.com/main.do
â€œThe measure of intelligence is the ability to change.â€? Albert Einstein
Published on Jun 29, 2016