Luxembourg-Korea: 60 years of bilateral relations

Commerce extérieur
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FLTR: Carlo Thelen, CEO Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce - HRH Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg - Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy

The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce organised an official mission headed by H.R.H Crown Prince Guillaume and led by Minister Franz Fayot to Korea from 26.11-01.12.2022. More than 80 representatives and 34 companies active in the sectors of space, digital economy, automotive, smart cities technologies, financial and industrial services joined the mission. The mission is follow-up mission of the 2019 edition and is organised in the framework of the celebrations around the 60 years anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Luxembourg.

The first day started with an enriching visit at the Seoul Transport Operation and Information Service called TOPIS., an advanced transportation information system that allows prompt responses to be made in times of emergency and predicts and prevents transportation problems before they occur through big data analysis. After a fruitful B2B session connecting Luxembourg and Korean companies, H.R.H. the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Minister Franz Fayot, together with Young LEE, minister of SME’s and start-ups of the Republic of South Korea and Carlo Thelen opened the Luxembourg-Korea Business Forum organised by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. The event gathered some 200 participants. During his speech, the Minister Franz Fayot announced the opening of a Luxembourg Embassy in Seoul in 2023. Carlo Thelen detailed how Luxembourg embraced the transition to a digital economy, and its excellence in sectors such as logistics, data, space industry, health, and eco-technologies. He pointed out that: “we are not only strong trading partners, but we are also both pioneers in innovation and leaders in the high-tech and digitalization sectors.”  After the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Luxinnovation, and the Global Commercialization Center of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST GCC), the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy presented Luxembourg’s roadmap for a competitive and sustainable economy 2025. The Korean policy for the globalization of SMEs & Start-ups was highlighted by the Korean counterpart. Panel discussions on smart city solutions and future mobility completed the forum. The day was concluded festively with the official reception hosting 200 participants and offering furthering networking opportunities to the Luxembourg delegation.

On the second day H.R.H. the Hereditary Grand Duke, Minister Franz Fayot and Carlo Thelen participated in the official inauguration of the new production site of Rotarex in Asan City, in presence of the CEO and founder, Jean-Claude Schmitz. The new factory and office building occupy 7.000 square meters and were built in less than one year on a ground of 1,2 hectares. The construction is eco-friendly with solar panels, covering the roof (with a capacity of 180KW), and the parking equipped with 10 electric charging terminals. In the meantime, the business delegation visited the LG Science Park, Korea’s largest R&D complex with more than 1 million square meters of floor space (that’s the equivalent of 152 football pitches!) and some 20,000 people working together. The businessmen were warmly welcomed by William Choi, Founder of Posture AI, a start-up selected in October to participate in the thirteenth edition of the Fit 4 Start accelerator programme in Luxembourg. The delegation continued to Seoul Smart City and got an enriching presentation how the introduction of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, edge computing, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and 5G communications networks, allow the transition to a smart, technology-supported city. The afternoon was spent at KITA, the Korea Industrial Trade Agency. After the welcome remarks of Seungkwan SHIN, Managing Director of KITA, Carlo Thelen, introduced the services offered by the Chamber of Commerce.  After KITA's presentation of their start-up support programme, Luxinnovation and several companies gave a short introduction about their services. The event was concluded with a networking session.

The Wednesday program was filled with two further visits: KOTI, the Korea Transport Institute, the nation`s leading think tank working to advance transport and logistics policies and technologies, where a test ride of the Urban Connected Automated Shuttle System took place and KAIST, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, one of the most prestigious universities in South Korea hosting more than 10.000 full- time students and 1.400 faculty researchers. The visit was enhanced by several pitches of Korean start-ups.

The last day was spent in Busan and started with a visit of the Busan Techno Park, focusing on Busan's core strategic industries, such as machine components, marine biology and port logistics, with the cooperation of industrial, academic, research, and governmental bodies. At the Busan Future Education Institute was highlighted the support provided for teaching and learning using digital technology. The day was concluded by a visit of the headquarter and museum of Kiswire, manufacturing products, such as wire ropes and wire strands, and the visit of F1963, Kiswire’s first factory manufacturing wires for 45 years until its closure in 2008 and becoming a multicultural complex. The delegation was warmly welcomed by the Honorary Consul Mr. Hong who organised a concert with young talented musicians and a farewell reception.

Discover the delegation of Luxembourg companies that took part in the mission :


Korea-Luxembourg Business Forum - H.R.H. the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Korea-Luxembourg Business Forum - Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy
Korea-Luxembourg Business Forum - Carlo Thelen, CEO Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce
Korea-Luxembourg Business Forum - Lee Young, Ministre des PME et des Start-up de la république de Corée
Korea-Luxembourg Business Forum
Visit at the Korea Industrial Trade Agency - Seungkwan Shin, Managing Director of KITA - Carlo Thelen, CEO Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce
Visit at the Seoul Transport Operation and Information Service
Official inauguration of the new production site of Rotarex