INCHEON, KOREA - The Global Green Heb Korea 2014 (GGHK2014) ended successfully on May 23. This year, 270 representatives from 211 foreign companies in 53 countries and 1,024 officials from 413 Korea-based energy and environment companies took part in the event, making this year’s GGHK more fruitful than ever before.
The GGHK 2014 was hosted by the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF), the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), the Incheon Metropolitan City government and the Green Climate Fund (GCF); and organized by the Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI) and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).
The organizers of the GGHK 2014 had sent out invitations to hundreds of overseas companies and specifically targeted overseas environmental projects, deemed suitable for Korean small- and medium-sized environmental companies, with a view to helping Korea-based energy and environment companies actually clinch overseas environmental deals during the GGHK 2014.
A total of 1,566 business meetings, in which deals worth approximately USD 161.4 billion were negotiated, were held for two days in six different categories: water management; solar energy; air/soil/waste management; wind energy; renewable energy and natural gas vehicles (NGV). As a result, USD 10.2 billion deals were stuck and six MoUs, worth USD 346 million, were signed, therefore helping the GGHK 2014 set all-time highs in terms of both size and financial outcome. With a growing interest in environmental issues following the opening of the Secretariat of the GCF in Songdo, Incheon, the GGHK2014 served as an event that successfully projected South Korea, which had been somewhat on the periphery of the world’s environmental efforts, as one of the most environmentally advanced countries in the world.
The worldwide environmental market amounts to KRW 148 trillion. The symbolic significance of this market outweighs its market size. The Korean economy has grown remarkably in such a short period of time that the nation had to sustain the industrial fallout from its high-speed economic growth. South Korea, however, has strenuously made efforts and it now boasts various kinds of homegrown environmental technologies, which are as good as those held by developed nations. And South Korea now exports its environmental technologies to other nations and many Korea-based environmental companies have bagged large-scale environmental deals in overseas markets.
Organized by the KEITI and KOTRA, the GGHK 2014 kicked off with a fanfare on May 21 with Exhibitor’s Hour first in its schedule. Then, the first day of GGHK2014 featured brisk business meetings and financial consultations and a variety of seminars and presentations.
On the second day (May 22), the Global Green Forum began with opening remarks, delivered by Kim Yong-Joo, President of the Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI). Dignitaries from home and abroad graced the GGHK 2014 with their attendance, including Jeong Yeon-man, Vice Minister of Environment, Hela Cheikhrouhou, Executive Director of the S. Korea-based GCF, Cho Myung-woo, Acting Mayor of Incheon and Kim Byung-kwon, Head of the strategic marketing headquarters at KOTRA. KEITI President Kim Yong-Joo expressed his expectations for close cooperation with the GCF and touched upon remarkable progress in the GGHK and the significance of the environmental industry in his opening remarks. Hela Cheikhrouhou, Executive Director of the GCF, also delivered a speech, saying that she pinned high hopes on the partnership between the GCF and South Korea, a role model for advanced environmental technologies and green growth.
In tandem with a growing interest in climate change, international organizations have channeled more money and resources to their green projects. In the process, South Korea caught the eye of green-minded international organizations since South Korea’s story about achieving green growth by overcoming environmental pollution, the fallout from its speedy economic growth, strikes a chord with so many developing nations. Therefore, South Korea should work hard not to miss such great opportunities. Partaking in international organizations’ green projects provides Korean companies with opportunities to enter overseas markets and such participation has a great deal of cascading effects on the Korean environmental industry.
Thus, I would like to applaud the government officials, who planned and organized the government-initiated GGHK 2014, for their foresight. And I hope they will double their efforts to make greater value in the future.