SEOUL, KOREA – Dwindling private consumption, coupled with credit card companies’ push for fewer additional services, has resulted in a pullback in credit card use. Credit card transactions for the second quarter stood at KRW 135.9 trillion, growing at the slowest pace of 4.1% since 2005.
Amidst the loud noises and bustling crowds, the World IT Show 2010 had a lot to offer. From electronic shelf labels to NCCM programs to iPhone applications; it was certainly a 21st century digital age extravaganza which would remind one of the song 'Video Killed the Radio Star' by the British group The Buggles.
Information Technology was once the miracle worker of Korea, credited with a boosted GDP, GNP, and number of businesses. Has the IT bubble popped now as some may say, or is it still a treasure trove that requires patient digging? The 2009 IT 21 Global Conference called out "Aye!" on the second question.
Ubiquitous healthcare is indeed discussed ubiquitously in Korea and gives some people the highest fever. On May 28, 2009, while the representative speaker from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy was expressing his great expectations for futuristic u-Healthcare systems at the 2009 IT 21 Global Conference in Gangnam, the 2009 u-Health Global Summit was held nearby in COEX.
Many Japanese companies attended the IMAC 2009 to purchase Korean materials and components. Since last year, the Japanese currency exchange rate has been high, and the price for materials and components is very attractive to prospective Japanese buyers. As a result, 59 Japanese companies, twice as many as expected, have attended the show, and 36 of them consulted with 270 Korean companies and made 600 inquiries for materials purchases. The expected sum of export contracts was 286 million dollars.
All 7 material purchase managers from Mitsubishi Electrics Co. have attended the show and they will purchase over 120 components and parts for air conditioning systems, railroads, elevators, and electrical systems.
One would think that the company Woongjin Chemical would be almost entirely unrelated to the IT industry, but that would be a mistaken assumption. Woongjin Chemical has several direct business connections with the IT industry and provides essential parts and materials to the areas of semiconductor manufacturing and flat panel displays.
The company gave a very good impression with a front-row, large-scale booth at the International Materials and Components Industry Show 2009, showing off the products of its four divisions - the fiber division, textiles division, materials division, and filter division. It's the last two which are the surprising ones.
The Galaxia Electronics booth at IMAC 2009 was quite impressive. Large, colorful panels hung from a circular ring, constantly changing their glow and their position. Curious onlookers that walked cautiously into the center of the ring were often obscured from view, swallowed up by the pulsating light walls. Rivers and waves of light played across the gently swaying panels. It was almost like magic.
IMAC 2009 introduced some the technologies that were grossly underestimated until now. One of the greatest examples is LHE Co. Ltd. who introduced high tech plate heat exchangers at the exhibition to show that Korea too has a highly competitive technology to build plate-type exchangers. Considering the fact that most Korean domestic companies have long been importing the plate-type exchangers from foreign companies, finding an in-country product of excellent quality is like tripping over a bar of gold on your way to work.
At the 2009 International Materials and Components Industry Show 2009 there were more than a few metal materials companies. However, one stood out as the mark of a new trend in international business. River, a precision engineering company from India, showed that the three-man parts and materials game of Japan-China-Korea has a fourth player now.
IMAC 2009's April showers suggested a blooming Nepes botanical garden in the near future. And the Nepes Corporation booth did not disappoint, presenting a wide variety of flowers growing in 2009. The world's first high quality color glass for future architecture is only the starting line of this botanical garden. Since Nepes Corporation manufactures both materials and components for various semiconductor parts, their internal synergy effect has created a blooming convergence of ideas in the high-end market.
The materials and components industry plays a pivotal role in the whole manufacturing sector. The manufacturing industry could not do without them. It is not an exaggeration to say that the quality and the price are subject to how competitive materials and components are. If a country had a strong materials and components industry, it would not fall behind in stiff world trade.
Materials and components create new products and new markets for their own sake.
Many investors are drawn to Iksan Parts and Materials Industrial Complex not only due to its geographical proximity, but also because Iksan has an excellent R&D infrastructure. About 60 cities including Seoul, Busan, Tokyo, Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, and Vladivostock are within 2,000 kilometers of Iksan. In fact, about 35% of the world's exports are shipped in this region every year.
While some place possible business networks at the top of the priority list when making investment in overseas parts and materials exclusive zones, others might value the geographic location of the zone in order to get easy access to product distribution. In the second case, Cheonan Parts and Materials Industrial complex in Chungnam Province is probably the best location Korea can offer.
Since Samsung and LG are in the Gumi Parts and Materials Exclusive Zone, many foreign companies have decided to place their investments in Gumi. Mobile phone, display, electronics, and renewable energy industries have already filled 282,003 square meters of four of Gumi's industrial complexes. The fifth industrial complex is in the process of construction and is set to add 660,000 square meters of space.
Booster I, Sharp Electronics shakes hands with BLU
BLU, an LCD component manufacturer, will supply its products to Japanesebased Sharp Electronics. It is very meaningful for the small-sized company in that it gets credit from Sharp which demands high-end quality components for their products when it imports materials and components from outside Japan.
Best Machining Technology (BMT) is located at the Noksan Industrial Complex in Busan. It is a listed firm that has been successfully nominated as an official supplier and manufacturer of tube fittings and valves because of its superior quality and accumulated technology experience.
As a subsidiary of Fairchild Semiconductor, a leading global provider of semiconductor technology that powers a wide range of electronic applications, Fairchild Semiconductor Korea celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
Nuclear power generation has come into focus as a way to implement the government's Low Carbon, Green Growth vision. In 2008, the amount of carbon emissions from Korea's nuclear power generation decreased by about 100 million tons compared with fossil fuels. The government decided to stress the need for nuclear power generation and increase the portion of such power generation by building more nuclear power plants.
In compliance with the government's policy of generating a low carbon and green growth engine and to effectively address the tightening international control of greenhouse gases, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO, President and CEO: Kim Ssang-su), a world-renowned electric power and utility company, has been aggressively developing and supplying new renewable energies since 2006.