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[News Article] AMCHAM launches ESG committee

AMCHAM launches ESG committee By Kim Yoo-chul, The Korea Times - The American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM) announced in a statement Friday that it has launched a committee to oversee environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.  As being responsible and socially conscious in doing business became more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, ESG has emerged as key criteria to measure the broader impact of activities to improve corporate prioritization of these targets. Through the committee, AMCHAM plans to help strengthen the efforts of its member companies to maintain sustainable management, according to the statement. "We are proud to announce the launch of our first-ever ESG committee. As ESG has evolved to become a key strategy for corporate growth, I hope this committee will serve as the main platform for AMCHAM member companies during this exciting transformation," AMCHAM CEO James Kim was quoted as saying. The committee is led by Jim Falteisek, managing director of 3M Korea, Andrew Ryu of DOW Korea, and Balaka Niyazee of P&G Korea. It will develop directions and strategies by acting as a platform for discussion involving ESG issues and initiatives in the global business community here. "3M has committed significant effort to achieve excellence in environmental stewardship, social equity and justice, and corporate governance. We are looking forward to amplifying our work in concert with our AMCHAM peers through our leadership in this new ESG committee," Falteisek was quoted as saying in the statement. "As a global leading materials science company, Dow is fully committed to delivering a sustainable future for the world through our materials science expertise and collaboration with partners," Dow Korea country manager Ryu said. To officially launch the committee, AMCHAM will host an ESG seminar May 13 with the participation of the New York Times and the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI). The seminar will feature perspectives from global and local business leaders on how the U.S. and Korean public and private sectors can collaborate to promote shared values while achieving mutual growth, according to the statement.   Soucre: https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2021/04/133_307701.html?da ​


[News Article] Colombian President emphasizes cooperation across Americas and Korea

Colombian President emphasizes cooperation across Americas and Korea ​Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez speaks during the Colombia-Korea: Commercial strategies for the Americas forum organized by the chambers of commerce in Bogota and Seoul and the Colombian Embassy in Korea. The forum was held virtually. [SCREEN CAPTURE]   By Esther Chung, Korea JoongAng Daily - Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez emphasized growing opportunities in trade and investment across the Americas and Korea in an online conference hosted Wednesday by the chambers of commerce in Bogota and Seoul and the Embassy of Colombia in Korea. “Colombia, the United States and Korea have been brother nations since the time we fought together in the Korean War,” President Duque said upon joining the online forum Colombia-Korea: Commercial strategies for the Americas. “We have a history of standing side by side in a difficult time, and I believe that the three nations can join forces in the same spirit in this time of the pandemic […] and emerge with more competitive edge in our markets,” said President Duque. Near-shoring was one of the ideas put forward by the president during the forum, as well as by executives of the American Chambers of Commerce in Seoul and Bogota, Korea Chamber of Commerce and Bogota Chamber of Commerce. “We are seeing a growing interest [among foreign investors] in the pharmaceutical and agro-industrial sectors in Colombia,” said María Claudia Lacouture, executive director of American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) in Colombia, in response to a question during the forum about which sectors of Colombian market can function as hub to the Americas.  “I think there are [several] areas where we can see synergy, considering the markets of Colombia, Korea and the United States,” said James Kim, chairman and CEO of Amcham in Korea. “One is digital transformation. Different companies have responded to the pandemic with digital transformation of many levels. Everyone is talking about digital transformation, but not many know how to execute it. I think that’s an area that Colombia could focus on. “Green growth is a hot item everywhere these days,” Kim added. “President [Joe] Biden and President Moon [Jae-in] are talking about it, and Colombia also unveiled a green road map last year. [...] This would be another area to see collaboration among the three countries going forward.” Korea and Colombia signed an FTA five years ago, the third of those signed between Korea and a Latin American nation. Trade between Korea and Colombia grew from $12.8 billion in 2016 to $18.6 billion in 2019, according to Amcham Korea. Some 20 Korean companies, such as Hyosung, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Posco International, have invested in Colombia, according to the chamber of commerce. The two nations will be celebrating their 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year. “As we discuss our next 20 years of Korea-Colombia commercial relations, the discussion will not only be about the two nations, but a dialogue between continents,” said Juan Carlos Caiza, ambassador of Colombia to Korea. The forum was also joined by Colombia’s Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism José Manuel Restrepo, Executive President of Bogota Chamber of Commerce Nicolás Uribe Rueda, Vice President of Korea Chamber of Commerce Woo Tae-hee, Chairperson of Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution of Korea Yoon Sung-roh and Executive President of Procolombia Flavia Santoro.    Source: https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/2021/04/21/national/diplomacy/colombiakoreaunited-states-nearshoring-trade-and-investment/20210421174100384.html​ ​


[News Article] 암참, 로버트 랩슨 주한미국대사 대리 특별 초청 간담회 개최

암참, 로버트 랩슨 주한미국대사 대리 특별 초청 간담회 개최 ​   아시아경제 황윤주 기자 - 주한미국상공회의소(암참)는 로버트 랩슨 주한미국대사 대리를 초청해 특별 간담회를 개최했다.   암참은 지난 15일 미국대사관저로부터 온라인 생중계된 이번 간담회를 통해 랩슨 대사대리와 한미 양국의 협력 관계가 직면한 당면 과제, 향후 전망 등의 공식적 주제로부터 1984년한국에 첫 부임하여 주부산미국영사관 부영사로 근무하면서 겪은 개인적 경험까지 폭 넓은 주제에 대해 간담회를 열었다고 16일 밝혔다. 이 자리에서 랩슨 대사대리는 주한미국대사 대리로서의 자신의 목표를 공유하기도 했다.   제임스 김 암참 회장 겸 CEO와의 좌담을 통해 랩슨 대사대리는 한·미 FTA 재협상, 코로나19 팬데믹 등 중대한 변화를 겪을 수밖에 없는 녹록치 않은 환경 속에서 한·미 파트너십의 중요성은 더욱 커질 것이라 강조했다.   제임스 김 회장 겸 CEO는 "랩슨 주한미국대사 대리님의 화려한 경력을 통해 얻은 소중한 경험과 식견을 오늘 이자리에서 함께 나눌 수 있어 영광으로 생각한다"며 "자신의 분야에 있어 진정한 전문가로서 한·미 양국간 관계 및 주요 이슈와 관련된 폭넓은 견해를 제시할 수 있을 것"이라고 말했다.   또 랩슨 미국대사 대리는 "앞으로도 글로벌 비즈니스 커뮤니티와의 지속적인 소통을 통해 더욱 협력하여 나가겠다며, 마지막으로 주한미국대사관과 암참이 오랜 기간 유지해 온 긴밀한 유대 관계에 감사의 뜻을 전하고 싶다"라고 말했다.   지난 1월 20일부로 주한미국대사 대리 업무를 시작한 그는 신임 미국대사 부임 전까지 대사대리 직무를 수행하게 된다. 직전까지 랩슨 대사대리는 2018~2021년도 주한미국대사관 차석(부대사)을 역임했며, 2015~2018년도에는 재일미국대사관 정치부 차관보 겸 부대표 권한대행을 역임한 바 있다.     출처: https://www.asiae.co.kr/article/2021041606525087580  


[News Article] 주한미국상공회의소-서울시, 청년인턴 직무캠프 인턴십 지원

주한미국상공회의소-서울시, 청년인턴 직무캠프 인턴십 지원​취업 지원 프로그램·별도 직업 상담 제공  미디어펜 박규빈 기자 - 이번 '서울형 청년인턴 직무캠프' 인턴십 프로그램은 만 18세부터 34세 사이의 청년 구직자에게 글로벌기업에의 잠재적 고용 기회를 제공하기 위한 취지의 CSR 프로젝트다. 암참은 지난해부터 서울시와 협력해 주요 암참 회원사들에 이번 인턴십 프로그램 참여를 독려해왔다.   이번 인턴십 프로그램에 참여하는 회원사로는 △3M △AIA △암웨이 △코카콜라 △커민스 △다우 △한국지엠 △지티지웰니스 △존슨앤존슨 △기흥인터내셔널 △라임 △록히드 마틴 △맥도날드 △메드트로닉 △메트라이프생명 △오티스 △P&G △퍼솔켈리 △퀄컴 △로버트 월터스 △로널드맥도널드하우스 △서울 외국인학교와 △비자 등이 있다.   참가자들은 인턴십 시작에 앞서 5월에서 8월까지 서울시에서 제공하는 직무별 맞춤 혁신교육을 받게 된다. 실제 인턴십은 9월부터 11월까지 진행되는데 참가자들에게는 CEO 멘토링, CEO와 함께하는 소규모 네트워킹 및 인턴간 인적 교류 행사 등으로 구성돼 있는 혁신 캠프(Innovation Camp)에의 참여와, 미국 기업 투어 및 현장 방문 등의 기회가 주어진다.   한 이 기간 동안 5회의 온라인 교육을 통해 이력서 작성법과 면접 방법, 글로벌 기업과 국내 기업의 면접 차이 등 취업에 실질적인 도움을 줄 수 있는 취업 지원 프로그램과 별도의 직업 상담도 함께 제공될 예정이다.   제임스 김 암참 회장 겸 대표이사는 "이번 인턴십 프로그램은 청년 구직자들을 세계 유수의 글로벌 기업과 연결시키고 기회를 제공할 것"이라며 "이번 인턴십 프로그램이 서울시와 글로벌 기업의 교두보 역할을 함과 동시에 고용 증대에 일조하기를 기대한다"고 말했다.   패트릭 윤 비자 코리아 사장은 "기업 현장에서 찾고 있는 인재상을 위해 실제적인 도움이 될 수 있도록 당사를 포함, 모든 미국 기업들이 최선을 다하겠다"고 전했다.   출처: http://www.mediapen.com/news/view/616223​​


[News Article] 암참-韓정부 '호텔업계 활성화' 간담회…"업계, 사회적거리두기 정책 일관성 요청"

사회적 거리두기 지침의 일관성 제고 및 투명한 소통 요청 [서울=뉴시스] 주한미국상공회의소(AMCHAM, 암참)는 25일 김성진 코트라 외국인투자 옴부즈만을 초청해 호텔 업계 활성화를 위한 간담회를 개최했다. (제공=암참)뉴시스 최희정 기자 - 주한미국상공회의소(AMCHAM, 암참)는 25일 김성진 코트라 외국인투자 옴부즈만을 초청해 호텔 업계 활성화를 위한 간담회를 개최했다고 밝혔다. 여의도 암참 사무실에서 진행된 간담회에는 글로벌 호텔체인 국내 총지배인 및 관계자들이 참석한 가운데 코로나19 여파로 어려움에 처한 호텔업계가 당면한 현안과 사회적 거리두기 규정에 대한 건의사항 등 의견을 나눴다.간담회에서 업계 대표들은 사회적 거리두기와 관련해 보다 일관된 정책 적용을 당부함과 동시에 정부 당국과 규칙적이고 투명한 커뮤니케이션을 할 수 있는 소통 채널을 마련해 줄 것을 요청했다.암참 제임스 김 회장 겸 대표이사는 "코로나19 타개를 위한 한국 정부의 투명하고 선진적인 대응에 깊이 감사드리며, 국내 글로벌 투자 기업의 애로사항을 적극 청취해 주시는 외국인투자 옴부즈만의 리더십을 높이 평가한다"고 말했다.이어 "글로벌 호텔 업계는 코로나19에 대응하기 위한 국내 사회적 거리두기 규범을 모범적으로 준수해 왔으며, 앞으로 한국 경제에 중요한 역할을 할 것이다"면서 "포스트코로나 시대에 한국의 경제 회복을 위해 지속적으로 한국 정부와 긴밀히 협력할 수 있기를 희망한다"고 말했다.김성진 코트라 외국인투자 옴부즈만은 "코로나19로 호텔업계가 큰 어려움을 겪고 있는 가운데 방역 정책을 준수하는 호텔의 협조 덕분에 한국은 세계적으로 모범이 되는 방역 성과를 거두고 있다"며 "모두가 합심해 위기를 이겨낸다면 호텔 업계는 물론 우리나라 관광업계 전반에 다시 큰 기회가 올 것"이라고 전했다.출처: https://newsis.com/view/?id=NISX20210325_0001383820&cID=10401&pID=10400​​  


[TV Live] AMCHAM - Arirang TV Fireside Chat with Amb. Joseph Yun

 January 27, 2021 – The American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM) with Arirang TV hosted the Arirang Special Live with Ambassador Joseph Yun, in place of the 10 am morning news. President Joe Biden's Administration is expected to bring profound changes to U.S. foreign policy, especially in the Indo-Pacific region. As one of US’s leading experts on East Asia policy, Joseph Yun will share his insights on the personnel, priorities, and interests that will shape the Biden Administration's foreign policy and explore the implications for the Korean Peninsula.​ About the SpeakerAmb. Joseph YunAmbassador Joseph Y. Yun is a Senior Advisor at The Asia Group. Widely recognized as one of the leading experts on U.S. relations with North Korea, as well as Washington’s broader approach to the Asia-Pacific, he brings over three decades of insights and expertise to bolster the firm’s Korea and Southeast Asia portfolios.Ambassador Yun previously served as the Special Representative for North Korea Policy from October 2016 to May 2018. He played an instrumental role in reopening the “New York channel,” a direct communication line with officials from Pyongyang. During this time, he concurrently held the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Korea and Japan, responsible for all aspects of bilateral relations with the two treaty allies. Click to view SPEAKER’S FULL BIOMiss a Webinar?https://youtu.be/yaJpke-pyVQ


[News Article] Amcham head says 2020 is a big year to be in business in Korea

Amcham head says 2020 is a big year to be in business in Korea? James Kim, American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) in Korea chairman and CEO, discusses Korea's stance as an investment site for U.S. companies and pending business issues in Korea and the United States, during an interview with the Korea JoongAng Daily at Amcham Korea's headquarters in Yeouido, western Seoul. [PARK SANG-MOON] [Korea JoongAng Daily] With the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 has been a tough year for businesses all over the world. But for multinational companies, Korea was the best location to be as a regional office, said James Kim, chairman and CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) in Korea.   “If you take a look at Europe or U.S. cities, they’re in a virtual lockdown whereas in Korea, yes, we may wear masks for the most part but we have never had a lockdown,” said Kim. “So they look at Korea as another market for them to increase revenue.”   Amcham Korea had its share of success thanks to such recognition, setting records for the most new members and events held in its 67-year history.   The Korea JoongAng Daily sat down with Kim to discuss what it was to be a foreign company in Korea over the past year and the pending issues for businessmen of both countries: The U.S.-China trade war, a new U.S. administration and an ongoing pandemic.   The first Korean-American to head the organization, Kim is now in his fourth year as Amcham Korea chairman and CEO. He previously served as chief executive at Korean units of Yahoo, Microsoft and General Motors.   Below is an edited excerpt of his interview on Nov. 11 at Amcham Korea’s headquarters in Yeouido, western Seoul.     Q. Korea was one of the first countries to be affected by the coronavirus and to have the government establish safety measures. For your member companies, was it an advantage being in Korea this year?   A. Obviously, the whole world knows that Korea did a fantastic job with Covid-19. I think that Korea may have invented the “3Ts” ? from the testing, tracing to treating ? which is really unprecedented. This turned out to be a very positive case for American companies that operate here to talk about the great things Korea has been doing to their company headquarters.     If you take a look at European or U.S. cities, they’re in a virtual lockdown whereas in Korea, yes, we may wear masks for the most part but we never had a lockdown. So they look at Korea as another market for them to increase revenue. One example is McDonald’s. They operate over 400 restaurants here, and this is the one of the few countries in the world where every store is in operation today.     Q. In the past few years, I’ve seen a lot of Korean IT firms complain that there’s reverse discrimination against them since the local government has a weaker grip on foreign companies here. What is your opinion on this?   A. I think that whenever companies do very well in any country, the regulators have to take a look at it. I see sites like YouTube and Netflix have done really well, but at the same time Korean companies like Naver, Kakao and Coupang ? they’re all doing really well too and I think they also face similar challenges. So I don’t really bond with the notion that there’s a lot of discrimination going on at all. I just think it’s the nature of when you’re big, everyone’s going to have attention on you.   But despite that, American investors are still big in Korea. Last year, U.S. companies invested $39 billion dollars in stock here, employed 116,000 jobs here in Korea, and research and development [investment] was like $900 million last year alone. I think it goes to show you that despite any concept of discrimination, American companies have not stopped or lost enthusiasm to invest here. I expect a lot more than that.      Q. There’s anticipation that Hong Kong losing its power as an Asian financial hub may benefit Korea. Do you see that as a realistic scenario?   A. First and foremost, Hong Kong was not built overnight. It’s been there for a long time and took a long time [to be what it is today]. But I quite frankly think this is a good opportunity for Korea. With our declining population here, we need to become more of a global regional hub.    That’s why I applauded The New York Times for coming to Korea. I actually spent a lot of time with Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, international president of The New York Times Company. He explained his reasons for why they came here: One was obviously freedom of the press. The second, that Korea has amazing digital infrastructure so they can use this hub.   So I feel Korea is on the right track. But I also know it’s a sensitive discussion given the importance of China to Korea. The more Korean government touts “come here” it might be viewed as negative to China. But as someone who is an American citizen promoting businesses here, for both Korea and the United States, I’d like to see IT companies, national institutions and manufacturing regional hubs here.     Q. Have you received a lot of inquiries from companies to move from Hong Kong or China to Korea recently?   A. Yes, we have. I can't disclose names to you but The New York Times was such a visible decision. There are companies that are interested in expanding more in Korea just because Korea is getting a lot bigger. If you take a look at why the great companies are here, it’s not just because the market itself but because of the important partnership opportunities with companies like Samsung, LG and Hyundai. They’re huge global companies today, and if you want to have collaboration with them, they really should be here.     Almonty Industries, for example, is now producing the largest tungsten [mine] in Korea. They’re in the process of finalizing here. Right now, 80 percent of our tungsten comes from China. So this is the play where they’re going to diversify away from China. And tungsten is a very important resource for semiconductors and IT companies.     Q. Korea is a small market by population. Why do foreign companies want to come here?   A. Let’s talk about size. Population may not be that big, but it’s also the sixth largest trading partner of the United States. This is also the home to an export base to China where 30 percent of our exports go to.    The second thing is the geographic location. We’re close to all the different major Asian countries: China, Japan to Singapore. Third is the digital technology side ? because of the ability to work with companies like Samsung and LG, a lot of innovation. People say if you can learn in Korea especially about things like the speedy customer service you can take that value or learning to anywhere else.   People also like living and working in Korea. In fact, I talk to a lot of the expats that are here and I don’t know a single CEO that said “I want to get out of Korea.” They all want to extend their stay. I think now with Covid-19, it has given them extra reason to be here. They’re safe.     Q. Korean companies and the government like to say that they’re moving past the stage of being a fast follower and are turning into a first mover. Would you agree?   A. I think it’s a combination. In some arenas Koreans can replicate what happened in the United States and do much better here. In some cases, [we see] Korean leadership, and Covid-19 is one example.     I think Koreans are innovators. They move really fast. When I worked in the IT business, Koreans invented phablets. I still remember [Apple’s] Steve Jobs, before he passed away, he actually said publicly, "over my dead body are we going to allow big phones." But guess what: Bigger phones are now doing so well.   And the drive-through for Covid-19 testing. That’s innovation from Korea right there in something as important as the pandemic. So those are couple of the examples I feel like the world can learn from Korea. Koreans’ “bbali-bbali ['quickly' in Korean] culture” can make that happen.     Q. The U.S. presidential election just ended this month with President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. What impact will that have on Korea and its relation with the United States?   A. First and foremost, Amcham is a non-political organization. Throughout my history at Amcham, we have worked with both Democratic and Republic presidents. Even the U.S. military here has worked on both sides. So for me, regardless of who winds up in office, I believe we have strong and smart people from both sides who will preserve this 70-year plus alliance between two countries. Because it’s not just commercial. It’s a cultural one, and obviously the military side of the equation makes it even move special.   As for President-elect Joe Biden, I met him in 2013 when he was sitting vice president. We had a very good dialogue. I remain very confident that he will be a very strong participant in the two's ties together. And he has a lot of people he has worked with ? all the different ambassadors are in place, all the different people in the state department and administration. I feel like it’s going to be a continuation.     Q. A big issue for local businesses is the U.S.-China trade war. How do you see the situation going next year?   A. I think that China has always been a big concern for most Americans who are following the news. Under President Joe Biden, I think there will continue to be some pressure on a lot of different fronts not only on the commercial side but other social agendas that Americans have expressed concerns about, including freedom of press.     But from a Korea side, obviously Korea needs to be very careful in how they pick sides if they have to. And I hope no one’s asking them to pick any sides, but what I would look at is: The United States has had the closest relation with Korea for 70 plus years, so I think that bond will stay. But at the same time China is now becoming their largest trading partner [that accounts for] 30 percent of exports.   What I want to caution the Korean government is on diversification. Thirty percent to any one country, I think, is too big. If I was a business person selling widgets, I don’t want one customer representing 30 percent of my business, which is why I think Korea should diversify further away.     Q. What would you say is the biggest issue in the business realm for both Korea and the United States next year?   A. I’d say the most important thing is what happens to any second or third waves of the pandemic. We have a lot of events planned right now, including our upcoming inaugural ball in February. Over a thousand people historically participate, but this year we had to tone it down. And we have this Doing Business in Korea seminar which is going to be very, very big. Because of the pandemic, Korea has really escalated its public profile. At this seminar we want to showcase why Korea could take a lead and having more business opportunities here.     Q. Covid-19, I imagine, is an unprecedented event for you and your members. How does that effect Amcham in setting plans for 2021?   A. If you take away the travel and tourism this year, so many American companies are doing well. At Amcham, we’re going to have a record year this year ? from the number of members that signed up, number of events we had, to the type of economics that we can generate.     This year has become the best year in our history because we transformed our business model from just having offline events to a lot of webinars. So that’s a digital transformation that we’re seeing. In fact, because we do so many webinars today that are produced at a high quality, we can get more people interested in participating. Whereas before, people would come in, they looked at it as a networking event. But here, it’s a lot of good solid business.   And I think because of the pandemic more people need organizations like ours to help them with advocacy, help them with marketing; they need more information from us and other types of networking opportunities.   We’re continuing to add to our employee base. We want to do more digital transformation ? more video and virtual settings. Not just doing it at Zoom or Microsoft Teams, we want to make it really more multinational and really high quality so that any audience who calls in from anywhere can see a very high quality product. This can’t be done in the traditional PC [environment] anymore.   BY SONG KYOUNG-SON   [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]