Hannover Messe 2009, a collection of ten international trade fairs, will take place from the 20th to 24th of April in Hannover, Germany. Last year Hannover Messe were successful international trade fairs as 5,100 exhibitors from over 60 different countries participated and created an impressive demonstration of cuttingedge products.
Korea, one of the industrial superpowers in Asia, will join the festivals as a Partner Country to display cutting-edge technologies and concepts primarily in the fields of energy, industrial automation, power transmission, supply and research. The Korea IT Times had an interview with Kim Dong-soo, Director General for Core Industries of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, to hear about the fairs and how Korea will show the world her technologies.
Q:What is the purpose of participation
A:The Korea Association of Machinery Industry (KOAMI) and Deutsche Messe signed the contract in Seoul with high-ranking members of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE). We have been participating in the fair because Hannover Messe has been a showcase of the most outstanding industrial technologies and concepts for the future. It will be a great opportunity for Korean industries to establish new contacts with the world's best technologies and to initiate new business. As is well known, Hannover Messe is a showcase for technology transfer and a window of technological innovation. We will present our core competence in shipbuilding, automobiles, automation, energy and IT - or Information Technology - to the world. Our business circles can make a strategic promotion to expand exports in these fields.
Q: What is your promotion plan
A: About 190 companies, small and big, will open their booths in the fairs. The total size of the show rooms for Korea will reach 5,700 square meters. It consists of two different sections, one for the national promotion center in 1,200 square meters, and the other for companies in 4,500 square meters. For five days, Korea will do her utmost to seek synergies out of its high-profile presence through various cultural events including photo and film festivals. This is because trade fairs nowadays are not just simple exhibitions, but a showcase of industry and culture. Promotional activities include the Korean-German Business Summit at the highest level and other supporting events such as seminars and forums focusing on economic cooperation, investment and technology. The government will spare no efforts to provide companies with whatever they need.
Q: What benefits can you offer to the participants
A: We will do our best to share information about the products and participants with foreign participants as much as possible. We will present handouts and documents to foreign partners so that they can get access to phone numbers and Internet addresses of the companies with which they want to get in touch. For small companies which are short of brand value we will offer a chance to meet with foreign companies and labs. In these meetings, they can introduce their technologies and take chances to sign contracts for joint ventures. The scheduled meeting with VDMA, a Germany association of machinery, will be one of these opportunities. seventy percent of the participants are newcomers to the fairs. We will help them.
Q: In what fields can we draw attention
A: We are very strong in IT, autos, shipbuilding and steel. Foreign partners will still show their interests in those sectors. We will focus on the traditional strong points. But what we want to show more is automation, high-efficient energy systems, and cutting-edge NANO-micro technologies. Those will be galvanizing showcases for the Korean machinery industry. I am sure that this will change the image of Korea from a heavy and IT industry country to an energy-efficient technology country. For this purpose, we will hold various seminars on energy, automation and nanotechnologies. And we will open some booths to show the investment environment in Korea to attract joint ventures from overseas. The Korea Today Zone and New Korea Zone will be interesting enough to draw visitors' attention.
Q: Can you tell more about the cultural activities in the show
A: A Contemporary Art exhibition, Design Show, Photo Present and Korean Cinema Day will be held before and after the fairs in order to create a pro- Korea atmosphere in Hannover.
Q: A free trade agreement negotiation is now underway between the EU and Korea. How important is it for Korea
A: Exports in machinery reached $5.2 billion for 11 months last year. This is the second largest export for Korea. The largest is to China with 28.8 %. If we sign an agreement with the EU, trade volume will be dramatically increased. Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic will be included in our customer list. Hannover Messe 2009, these international trade fairs, is a Mecca of the machinery industry. Being a partner country this year signifies opportunities to show where Korea is in the industry.
The machinery industry is the barometer of a country's competitive power,” continued Director General Kim Dongsoo. “Considering the fact that Koreans have long been recognized as craftsmen and such artisan skills are exactly what decides the success of the machinery industry, the future is bright. We shall use the Hannover exhibition as an opportunity to show our potential and strength.”
The global economic recession is an inevitable obstacle in every industry. First the automotive industry suffered, and then the oil and steel industries struggled in turn. The chain will strike down the commodities markets next. “However, hard times like this teach us the most important lesson of consumption. Consumers now prefer substance to appearance. That means only the companies with real substance and real competitive power will survive in this jungle. This is where the cliche comes from: Crisis is rather an opportunity,” Kim concluded.