Pioneering nations, converging visions, full steam ahead!
Luxembourg Official Mission to South Korea
15-18 July 2019, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, represented by Carlo Thelen, Director General, participated in Luxembourg’s Official Mission to South Korea, led by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider.
Not less than 27 companies from sectors including ICT, finance, industry, space, and logistics participated in the mission, whose objective was to promote economic and trade relations between South Korea and Luxembourg, help enterprises connect with potential growth partners and grasp business opportunities.
This mission was a follow-up to previous visits to South Korea, notably in 2014 when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy and the Seoul Metropolitan Government, and in 2018, when an MoU was signed between the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and its Korean counterpart, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
Luxembourg and South Korea are indeed complementary nations, particularly as startup nations and in the ICT and space sectors.
In this context, several events were organised during this official mission that furthered the strategic relationship between the two nations regarding high performance computing (HPC), digital supply chain, and cybersecurity, and an MoU was signed between Luxinnovation and its Korean counterpart the Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development (KISED).
The Economic Mission was officially opened on 16 July by the Master of Ceremony, Mrs Younhee Kim, Director, Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office (LTIO) in Seoul, followed by speeches from Mr Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy in Luxembourg; Mr Carlo Thelen, Director General of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce; and Mr Jundong Kim, Executive Vice-Chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
Before an audience of more than 150 business people that indeed represented a microcosm of the relationship between the two nations, Carlo Thelen stressed their similarities, pointing out in particular that ‘we are not only strong trading partners, but we are also both pioneers in innovation and leaders in the high-tec and digitalisation sectors.’
The ICT seminar: ‘Luxembourg, Your Trusted Data Hub’, organised by the Ministry of the Economy, Luxinnovation, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, and the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office (LTIO) in Seoul, was then held, with experts from Luxembourg presenting Luxembourg as an ICT nation, highlighting in particular high performance computing (HPC), digital supply chain, and cybersecurity, followed by a dynamic B2B matchmaking session where Korean businesses met their Luxembourg counterparts and over 100 business meetings were organised by LTIO Seoul, together with the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. This provided an extraordinary opportunity for Korean businesses to meet potential business partners from Luxembourg face-to-face and the exercise was greatly appreciated by all participants. Both sides noted in particular that they were very appreciative of the high quality of the encounters and discussions.
At the same time, another group from the delegation visited the headquarters of the telephone company LG Uplus Corp., which also provided an enlightening and informative encounter with one of the top telecommunications service providers in Korea.
The day ended with an official reception attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy Etienne Schneider, and H.E. Mr Pierre Ferring, Ambassador to Japan.
On Day 2, the Luxembourg delegation visited the Samsung Innovation Museum, which exhibits the evolution of Samsung, technological advancements in the electronics sector overall, and upcoming innovations to improve future daily life.
This visit was followed by a tour of AI Expo Korea, which showcases not only elemental technology but also next generation artificial intelligence. The delegation also visited the three Korean startups that attended Luxembourg’s ICT Spring in May of this year.
This was followed by the startup event organised by the Ministry of the Economy, Luxinnovation and the LTIO Seoul, in collaboration with the Korean Institute for Startup & Entrepreneurial Development (KISED), during which an MoU was signed between Luxinnovation and its Korean counterpart the Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development (KISED). This agreement supports greater collaboration between the two entities for the development of the Korean and Luxembourg startup ecosystem.
The final day of the mission, the delegation joined the Korea Space Forum. This conference is the first of its kind in Northeast Asia to focus on the commercial aspects and economic opportunities of the emerging space industry and space resources.
The forum, ‘Open Space Era, from Idea to Reality’, was organised by the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT, in collaboration with Donga Science, a media company specialised in science, and the Korean Institute for Aerospace Research.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy Etienne Schneider opened the forum with a speech in which he highlighted Luxembourg’s SpaceResources.lu Initiative and role in introducing legislation regarding space resources, stating in particular that ‘Luxembourg is poised to play a pioneering role in the development of a commercial space economy focused mainly on the exploration and use of space resources. The Grand Duchy is the first European country to introduce legislation recognising that private companies can own resources they find in space’.
In addition to the official mission to South Korea, some participants from the Luxembourg delegation, including from the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of the Economy, and certain businesses from Luxembourg, continued on to Taiwan. Their delegation is composed of 23 members, including both officials and representatives from 10 companies. They attended the 12th Taiwan-Luxembourg Joint Business Council (TLJBC) in Taipei on Friday, 19 July 2019, in collaboration with the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association (CIECA). 75 Taiwanese officials and entrepreneurs were in attendance at the TLJBC.
The afternoon of 19 July, the delegation also participated in the startup event ‘Meet Luxembourg’s Startup ecosystem in Taipei!’ that was hosted by the Ministry of the Economy at the Taiwan Tech Arena.