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[News Article] Coupang becomes Korea’s 2nd-largest employer in 2023

Coupang becomes Korea’s 2nd-largest employer in 2023 By Choi Jae-won and Yoon Yeon-hae, Pulse - Coupang Inc., South Korea’s largest online retail platform company, became the second-largest employer in the country in 2023 after Samsung Electronics Co., overtaking Hyundai Motor Co., an analysis showed on Thursday. Although a significant number of Coupang workers are on short-term contracts, the company is considered to be serving as a job ladder for young people who are struggling to find work and for middle-aged women whose careers have been interrupted by childcare and other reasons. According to an analysis by Maeil Business Newspaper of employment data from workplaces registered with the National Pension Service, the number of workers directly employed by Coupang and its logistics subsidiaries was 69,057 at the end of last year, more than 600 more than Hyundai Motor’s 68,427. Samsung Electronics had the highest number of employees with 120,877. Founded in 2010, Coupang climbed to third place in the corporate employment rankings in 2020, just ten years after its establishment, overtaking LG Electronics Inc. The e-commerce company then rose to second place in just three years. Coupang saw its employment numbers surge by nearly 40,000 in just two years as the non-face-to-face delivery market grew rapidly following the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Although the number fell by about 10,000 in 2022 following an endemic, it increased again by 13,391 last year, proving the company’s stable job creation capability. However, a significant number of workers employed by Coupang’s logistics center subsidiary, Coupang Fulfillment Services (CFS), or its delivery subsidiary, Coupang Logistics Services (CLS), are on short-term contracts of 1 to 2 years. Industry insiders noted that it is difficult to simply compare Coupang’s employment numbers with those of other large companies with a higher ratio of regular employees. Of Coupang’s entire workforce as of the first half of 2023, 20,000 were young adults aged between 19 and 34, and 48 percent of the employees working at its logistics and delivery centers were women. Source: https://pulsenews.co.kr/view.php?sc=30800018&year=2024&no=86433

2024.02.05

[News Article] SPC그룹, 설 맞이 나눔 활동... 허희수 부사장, 직접 노숙인 급식소 찾아

SPC그룹, 설 맞이 나눔 활동... 허희수 부사장, 직접 노숙인 급식소 찾아    조선비즈 유진우 기자 - SPC그룹이 설 명절을 맞이해 지역사회 복지기관을 찾아 다양한 사회공헌 활동을 진행한다고 1일 밝혔다. SPC그룹 사회복지법인인 SPC행복한재단은 지난달 31일 경기도 성남시 노숙인 무료 급식소 ‘안나의집’을 찾아 노숙인 550명에게 배식 봉사를 진행했다. 허희수 SPC그룹 부사장은 임직원들과 함께 배식 봉사활동에 참여해 나눔 문화 확산에 앞장섰다. 각 계열사들도 사업장 인근 지역사회에 설 명절 나눔 활동을 펼쳤다. SPC삼립은 지난달 30일 서울 동작, 경기도 시흥, 충청남도 서천, 대구에 위치한 14개 복지기관에 삼립 설 선물세트와 빵 등 6000여개를 전달했다. 비알코리아는 같은 날 충청북도 음성 소재 아동복지시설과 행정복지센터를 찾아 설 제품 선물과 함께 시설 인근 환경정화활동을 실시했다. SPL은 취약계층 100가정에 제품과 밑반찬을 전달했다. 그 밖에도 파리크라상은 31일 ‘성남시 설맞이 사랑의 식품 나누기’ 행사에 10kg 쌀 140포를 후원했다. SPC그룹은 지역사회 복지 향상과 상생 활동에 동참하기 위해 2003년부터 인근 복지관을 통해 명절 후원을 진행해왔다. 지금까지 총 14억원 규모 성금과 제품을 후원했다. 출처: https://biz.chosun.com/distribution/food/2024/02/01/3WBCTUSB4RAGBCQY7EZ4MCA7OY/ 

2024.02.02

[Interview Article] INTERVIEWMcDonald's Korea to expand locally sourced ingredients to introduce mor…

McDonald's Korea to expand locally sourced ingredients to introduce more hit products Company CEO vows to upgrade services for seniors, people with disabilities   By Ko Dong-hwan, The Korea Times - McDonald's Korea will increase the number of its stores to over 500 by 2030 from the current 400 and expand local sourcing to introduce a wider range of new hit products, according to the company's CEO. In a recent interview with The Korea Times, CEO Kim Ki-won said that the Korean unit of the multinational fast food franchise will continue to focus on not only offering tasty burgers but also raising its public image by supporting local farms and agricultural communities. "Our main goal this year is to get aggressive with opening new stores," Kim said. "To leverage that goal, I care for building public trust in our brand, improving customer experiences and offering savory burgers." In 2023, the company opened eight new stores and renovated nine old ones. It also saw continuous business growth for 22 quarters in a row. When it opened a new drive-thru chain in Jeju Oedo last November, Kim promoted the restaurant by offering free burgers to children at local children's center nearby. She said the company will keep donating "Happy Burger" to neighbors in need this year. "It is one of our signature campaigns to offer hearty meals to those in local communities around our new chains who are in need," Kim said. The company last year pushed forward several policies that proved to be sustainable and effective for its business. She means to keep them this year to maintain the brand's steadfast popularity in the country, which was built throughout 35 years of history here, and to eventually reach the market expansion goal. One of the policies is Taste of Korea, the brand's seasonal burgers that use local natural produce from local farms as a signature ingredient. The annual business, according to Kim, not only created hit burgers but also supported local farms by purchasing their produce. She called it a good example of "loconomy," a compound of "local" and "economy." Last year, Jindo Green Onion Cream Croquette Burger with green onions cultivated from Jindo, South Jeolla Province, hit the jackpot, selling over 2.8 million during its limited-offer period. "We have to pick the produce carefully as each pick gets supplied to our restaurants that altogether see 400,000 visitors each day," Kim said about the project started by the company in 2021. "And of course, its quality must be guaranteed, with its savor matching with the brand's taste. A successful Taste of Korea project thus accomplishes both taste and mutual economic growth with local communities at the same time." The company has been buzzing about its range of charity activities for years, allowing itself to build up a positive public image. Inside and outside its stores, the company has been looking for local communities in need of donations for years. Kim said that she will run the business as usual this year. The "Prosperity Burger" event is one example the company launches every year-end. From every order of a certain burger, 100 won ($0.07) goes to a charity pool. Last year, the company sold 1.7 million orders of two kinds of prosperity burgers (both with long buns, a pork patty and garlic sauce) last January alone and raised a total of 240 million won, a record amount since the campaign was launched in 2013. The company sends part of the charity donation to the brand's global program called Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), which seeks to build lodgings near hospitals where family members of hospitalized patients can stay for free. Korea now has one Ronald McDonald House at Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital in Busan. The company donated over 560 million won to the program in 2023 by raising money from sales of prosperity burgers and commemoration books that celebrated the company's 35-year-long history in Korea and revenue from offline charity events. "This year marks the 50th anniversary of our brand's introduction of RMHC," Kim said. "So one of our community-building campaigns this year is to provide support for opening the country's second Ronald McDonald House. It will be in the capital region." Inside the restaurants, Kim is working to capture the hearts of not just visiting customers but also employees, another cornerstone for solidifying the brand's public image and preparing it for local market expansion. One of the strategies is the company's unique employee hiring process that sets no preference in education, age, gender, work experience, disability or nationality. And the window is always open, counting 18,000 workers nationwide so far. Anyone selected via "open hiring" is also open for promotion to a chain's manager position after four months. Later, that person can aim for a regular desk job at the company's headquarters in Seoul. "We have older employees who treat and give advice to their colleagues in their 20s as their grandchildren. We also have female workers in their 60s whose great cooking skills are irreplaceable when it comes to burger-making," Kim said. "People with various backgrounds wear our uniforms without discrimination. It's our philosophy with its focal point on people. That's why we would like to be called not a burger company but a company of people who make burgers." For patrons with difficulties ordering through digital kiosks inside restaurants, most often seniors and people with visual impairments, Kim introduced kiosks with an audio navigation system. It is a feature she introduced for the second time in the brand's global franchise network. "Resolving what may seem like a trivial inconvenience is important for improving our customers' satisfaction and bespeaks our company's dedication to corporate social responsibility," Kim said. "Personally, the audio navigation feature meant a lot to me." Source: https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2024/01/419_367782.html 

2024.02.02

[Interview Article] ‘HR 20년 베테랑’ 전유미 퍼솔켈리코리아 대표

‘HR 20년 베테랑’ 전유미 퍼솔켈리코리아 대표 기업 해외 진출부터 장애인 직업교육까지…HR 솔루션 ‘A to Z’ 아울러   인사이트코리아 남빛하늘 기자 - 퍼솔켈리(PERSOLKELLY)는 미국의 종합 인사 솔루션 켈리서비스(Kelly Services Inc.)와 일본 1위 인사 솔루션 기업 퍼솔(PERSOL)그룹이 합작 투자해 설립한 회사다. 퍼솔켈리코리아(PERSOLKELLY KOREA)는 이 법인의 한국 지사로, 헤드헌팅·인재파견·아웃소싱·컨설팅 등 인적자원(HR) 분야의 ‘A to Z’를 아우르는 글로벌 HR솔루션 전문 기업이다.  전유미 대표는 2008년 한국에 켈리서비스를 성공적으로 들여온 이후 지금까지 회사를 이끌어 오고 있다. 현재 퍼솔켈리코리아 대표와 퍼솔켈리컨설팅그룹 아시아태평양지역(APAC) 리더를 함께 맡고 있다. 전 대표는 한국·싱가포르에서 20년 이상의 HR 관련 사업 경험을 쌓은 전문가로, 다국적 기업 고위 임원들에게 다양한 전략을 제공하고 있다. 흔히 HR이라고 하면 ‘헤드헌팅’을 가장 먼저 떠올린다. 통상 HR 기업의 핵심 사업으로 알려져 있기 때문이다. 헤드헌팅이란 기업이 요구하는 가장 적합한 인재를 찾아 소개해주거나, 이직을 원하는 이들을 회사에 연결해주는 것을 의미한다.  하지만 퍼솔켈리코리아는 헤드헌팅만 하는 기업은 아니다. 지난 1월 25일 서울 광화문 퍼솔켈리코리아 본사에서 <인사이트코리아>와 만난 전유미 대표는 “헤드헌팅은 우리 사업의 50%를 차지할 뿐”이라며 “나머지 절반은 인사 컨설팅 비즈니스로 구성된다”고 말했다.  전 대표는 “대부분 사람들이 퍼솔켈리코리아의 사업이 B2C(기업소비자간거래)라고 생각하는데, B2B(기업간거래)가 기본”이라며 “기업이 회사를 운영하면서 고민하고 있는 인사적인 부분을 도와주는 역할이 우리의 가장 큰 목적”이라고 부연했다.  기업 해외 진출 돕는 ‘코리아데스크’ 사업 퍼솔켈리코리아는 인사 컨설팅 비즈니스 중에서도 한국 기업의 해외 시장 진출 솔루션을 제공하는 ‘코리아데스크(KOREA DESK)’를 활발하게 운영하고 있다. 최근 분야를 막론하고 국내 기업이 글로벌 영토 확장에 힘쓰고 있지만, 현지 노동법·노동환경에 대한 이해 부족으로 어려움을 겪고 있다는 점에 주목한 것이다.  전 대표는 “한국은 급성장을 이뤄온 터라, 대부분의 기업이 해외에 진출할 때 오퍼레이션(Operation)을 체계적으로 잡기보다 영업·마케팅에 더 신경 쓰는 경향이 있다”며 “그런데 코로나19 이후 각 나라의 자국민 보호 관련 노동법이 강해져, 현지 인사 체계에 대해 이해하지 않고는 비즈니스를 할 수 없는 환경이 됐다”고 강조했다.  코리아데스크의 역할은 현지에 맞는 인사 시스템 구축, 직급·급여 체계 셋업부터 채용, 공장 노동자 아웃소싱, 구조조정 등 한국 기업의 해외 진출을 위한 모든 프로세스를 돕는 것이다. 현재 코리아데스크는 인도네시아·베트남·말레이시아·싱가포르 등 9개가 넘는 국가에 지사를 두고, 각 지사마다 적게는 100명 많게는 1000명의 HR 전문 인력이 상주하고 있다.  전 대표는 “현지화가 잘 되지 않으면 해외에서 성공적인 비즈니스를 한다는 건 불가능하다”며 “코로나19를 계기로 한국 기업도 인사 부분에 투자를 많이 하기 시작했다”고 설명했다. 지금까지 국내 다양한 산업군에서 코리아데스크를 찾았으며, 최근 중소기업·스타트업의 니즈도 상당하다는 게 전 대표 얘기다.  차별 없이 똑같이…장애인 고용 촉진 ‘앞장’ 퍼솔켈리코리아는 비즈니스뿐만 아니라 ESG(환경·사회·지배구조) 경영에서 존재감이 막강하다. 전 대표는 “우리는 물건을 생산하는 회사가 아니다 보니 무엇을 할까 생각하다가 인사적인 측면에서 후원하고, 사회에 기여하는 역할을 하고자 했다”고 전했다.  특히 국내 고용 시장에서 여전히 사각지대로 소외받고 있는 장애인에 대한 관심이 깊다. 전 대표는 “장애인들도 적절한 직업체험과 교육을 통해 경력을 만들어 나갈 수 있도록 역할을 하고 싶다”고 말했다.  현재 퍼솔켈리코리아는 주한미국상공회의소(AMCHAM·암참) 산하 미래의동반자재단과 함께 운영하는 ‘해피 투게더(HAPPY TOGETHER) 프로젝트’, 주요 대학장애 학생지원센터와 연계한 ‘글로벌 커리어 데이’ 채용 행사, 고용노동부 청년 일경험 프로그램 일환으로 운영되는 ‘BTS(Booster for Talents Success) 프로그램’ 등을 전개하고 있다.  전 대표는 “장애인은 비장애인보다 직업훈련 기회가 부족하고 전문적인 직업훈련도 그만큼 적다”며 “그래서 장애인의 개별 특성에 맞춘 선진적인 직업훈련을 제공해 비장애인과 함께 더 생산성 있게 일하게 하자는 취지로 장애인 고용 촉진 사업을 시작했다”고 강조했다. 개인이 원하는 직종에 따라 짧게는 6개월 길게는 1년가량 실무 교육을 진행하고, 이를 발판 삼아 인턴십·정규직 채용에 이르기까지 도움을 주는 식이다.  이 같은 노력과 진정성을 인정받아 지난해 12월 ‘2023 대한민국 지속가능경영대상’ 사회부문 대상, ‘2023 미래내일 일경험 컨퍼런스’ 기관부문 프로그램 우수상·참가수기 최우수상(고용노동부 장관상)을 수상했다. 또 ‘더 나은 일자리 더 좋은 일자리’ 장애인 고용환경 우수기업 사례발표와 함께 서울특별시장상을 받았다.  ‘한국뉴로다이버시티협회’ 론칭 후원 전 대표가 올해 구상하는 그림은 더 크고 선명하다. 퍼솔켈리코리아는 장애인 고용 선진화를 위해 업계 전문가들과 함께 비영리법인 ‘한국뉴로다이버시티협회’ 론칭을 후원할 예정이다. 이를 전사적으로 지원할 것임을 공식적으로 밝혔다.  그는 “미국·일본 데이터에 따르면 IT업계 엔지니어의 30%는 정신적인 이슈가 있는 분들이고, 특히 젊은 세대의 경우 전체의 50%가 이슈를 갖고 있다”며 “코로나19 등으로 사회성이 결여되면서 은둔형 외톨이 친구들이 많아졌고, 이게 물론 정신장애는 아니지만 일종의 뉴로다이버시티(Neurodiversity)의 다양성 중 하나로 포함하고 있다”고 밝혔다.  그는 “예컨대 사회성이 조금 떨어지거나 주의력결핍 과잉행동장애(ADHD)를 앓고 있지만, 한 가지 일에만 집중해서 잘 해낼 수 있는 분들도 있다”며 “이런 성향을 개발해 더 키워주는 게 한국뉴로다이버시티협회가 나아가고자 하는 방향”이라고 강조했다.  전 대표는 “아시아 지역에서는 일본에서 가장 먼저 뉴로다이버시티를 정부, 지자체, 민간기업의 상호 협력으로 적극 도입하고 특히 퍼솔켈리의 계열사가 이를 새로운 장애인 직업훈련 시스템으로 안착시킨 성공 모델이 있다”고 설명했다.  마지막으로 “이러한 성공 모델을 한국화 하는 것을 한국뉴로다이버시티협회의 사업으로 주도하고 싶고, 한국에서도 성공한다면 홍콩·싱가포르·대만 등 유사한 장애인 고용 환경의 다른 아시아 지역으로도 확장해 나가고 싶다”는 포부를 밝혔다.   “Work and Smile!” 진정으로 일하는 이유를 알 때, 진심으로 일하고 웃을 수 있다 “Work and Smile!” 여성 리더로서 자리 잡을 수 있었던 본인 만의 비결이 무엇이었냐는 질문에 전유미 대표는 활짝 웃으며 대답했다. 워크 앤 스마일은 퍼솔켈리의 비전이자 미션, 가치다.  전 대표를 비롯한 퍼솔켈리코리아 임직원은 진정으로 일하는 이유를 알 때, 진심으로 웃을 수 있을 것이라고 믿는다. 직원들 개개인의 성공(ME)을 달성하는 것, 팀워크(WE)를 기르는 것, 가족을 위한 것, 더 넓은 지역사회와 사회에 기여하는 것(All Of Us)을 비전으로 생각하고 실천하고 있다.  전 대표는 “우리는 서로 인사할 때도 워크 앤 스마일이라고 한다”며 “그냥 ‘오늘도 재미 있니?’ 이런 차원이라고 보면 된다”고 설명했다. 그는 “개인이 일하면서 진짜 행복하다면 팀에 긍정적인 환경이 조성될 것이고, 그러면 내 가족, 사회, 주위에 있는 모두가 다 행복해질 수 있다는 의미”라고 강조했다.  퍼솔켈리코리아는 매월 셋 째주 금요일, 본인 근로시간 기준 2분의 1만 근무한 뒤 퇴근하는 ‘워크 앤 스마일 데 이(WORK & SMILE DAY)’도 전개한다. 회사 관계자는 “워크 앤 스마일 캠페인과 액티비티(Activity)를 통해 동료들과 함께 진행하면서 많이 웃고 즐거운 추억을 만들어 가고 있다”고 설명했다.  출처: http://www.insightkorea.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=128130

2024.02.02

[News Article] LG CNS "코드 생성형 AI에 최적화한 LLM 개발"

LG CNS "코드 생성형 AI에 최적화한 LLM 개발"   연합뉴스 홍국기 기자 - LG CNS가 코드 생성형 인공지능(AI)에 최적화한 거대언어모델(LLM)을 개발했다고 31일 밝혔다. LG CNS는 지난해 6월 오픈AI의 챗GPT에 기반한 코드 생성형 AI 서비스 'AI 코딩'을 개발해 사내 시스템과 고객사 프로젝트에 활용 중이다. AI코딩은 시스템, 애플리케이션, 서비스 등을 구축할 때 개발자의 코딩 업무를 지원하는 생성형 AI 서비스다.  LG CNS는 이를 금융·증권사 등 데이터의 외부 유출에 민감한 기업들도 활용할 수 있도록 AI코딩의 두뇌 역할을 하는 LLM을 자체 개발한 것이라고 설명했다. 이에 따라 고객사들은 비즈니스 환경에 맞춰 LG CNS가 개발한 LLM(브랜드명 미정)이나 오픈AI의 LLM인 'GPT' 중에 선택해 AI코딩을 활용할 수 있다. LG CNS가 개발한 LLM은 메타의 코드 생성에 최적화한 LLM '코드라마'(CodeLlama)를 비롯해 다양한 오픈소스 LLM을 활용했다. 고객사는 보유 중인 서버와 클라우드 등 인프라에 LG CNS의 LLM을 설치하고 AI코딩을 플러그인(기존 시스템에 부가 기능을 추가하는 방식) 방식으로 연결하면 된다. 무엇보다도 고객사가 가진 자체 인프라를 활용하기 때문에 소스 코드나 개인 정보 유출에 대한 고민이 해결된다고 회사는 강조했다. 아울러 LG CNS는 이번에 공개한 LLM과 AI코딩을 도입하려는 고객사를 위해 최적의 프롬프트(Prompt)를 구성하는 컨설팅을 진행한다. 프롬프트는 LLM의 답변 정확도를 높일 수 있도록 질문하는 노하우를 담아 질문을 최적화하는 기능이다. 이 밖에 LG CNS는 지난 30여년간 금융, 물류, 제조 등 각종 산업에서 디지털 전환을 수행한 코딩 노하우를 담아 AI코딩의 고도화도 준비 중이라고 덧붙였다. LG CNS의 최고기술책임자(CTO) 김선정 전무는 "고객사가 보유한 인프라에도 설치할 수 있도록 AI 코딩에 최적화한 LLM을 확보했다"며 "AI 코딩을 통해 고객사가 디지털 서비스의 개발 생산성을 혁신할 수 있도록 할 것"이라고 말했다. 출처: https://www.yna.co.kr/view/AKR20240131014900017?input=1195m

2024.02.02

[News Article] ​Posco, ADNOC to produce blue hydrogen in Gwangyang

​Posco, ADNOC to produce blue hydrogen in Gwangyang   By Shim Woo-hyun, The Korea Herald - Posco Group and the United Arab Emirates' Abu Dhabi National Oil Company will collaborate on blue hydrogen production facilities in Gwangyang, South Jeolla Province, Posco International said Wednesday. Posco International, Posco Holdings and ADNOC signed a three-way strategic collaboration agreement at the UAE energy group’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi. Under the agreement, the three companies will build blue hydrogen production facilities at Posco International’s liquefied natural gas terminal in Gwangyang. Blue hydrogen refers to hydrogen produced from fossil fuels such as natural gas through a process called reforming. The production is also coupled with a carbon capture and storage (CCS) process to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by capturing and storing the carbon dioxide generated during the hydrogen production process. The companies also agreed to build CCS facilities at the Posco LNG plant. “ADNOC is one of the leading companies in the CCS sector. ADNOC will become a great partner of Posco Group,” an official from Posco International said. Starting this year, the three companies will test the feasibility of the project involving hydrogen production and CCS facilities, with plans to start supplying blue hydrogen to nearby regions in 2029. “The latest project is meaningful to the group as it will allow us to take the first step in the domestic supply of eco-friendly hydrogen,” said Lee Jeon-hyeok, head of the energy business unit at Posco International. Source: https://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20240131000771 

2024.02.02

[Interview Article] Almonty to boost security of key mineral supply with Sangdong mine

[Herald Interview] Almonty to boost security of key mineral supply with Sangdong mine   By Kan Hyeong-woo, The Korea Herald - Almonty Industries, a multinational mining company headquartered in Toronto, expects to reopen the Sangdong Mine in Yeongwol, Gangwon Province, and begin operations before the end of the year to offer an alternative source for tungsten, a critical material, according to the firm’s CEO Lewis Black. "I think now we’ve finally got a clear path to reopen the world’s largest tungsten mine,” Black said in an interview with The Korea Herald at the office of Almonty Korea Tungsten in Seoul on Tuesday. “And the beneficiary of this material will be both the United States and South Korea. We have no intention of supplying outside of those two areas.” Tungsten, which features resistance to high temperatures, hardness and density, is a key material used for manufacturing automotive parts including batteries for electric vehicles, aerospace apparatuses and munitions. As China and Russia account for about 90 percent of the total global tungsten supply, geopolitical risks have consequently surfaced. According to Black, the underground mine development will finish in September. The firm intends to begin surface work shortly. The CEO explained that the production of the tungsten mine will be divided into two phases. “The first phase 1, which is approximately 45 percent of the design output of the mine, goes to the United States,” he said. “The second 55 percent, our marketing strategy is to make it only available for Korean companies. This is because Korea depends (on Chinese imports) for 94.7 percent of all tungsten.” Black added that the mine developer intends to build a tungsten oxide plant in Yeongwol and provide roughly 4,000 tons of tungsten per year, which will be roughly over half of what Korea procures from China. According to the CEO, global tungsten production is approximately 98,000 tons per year, and about half of that is consumed in China. “Sangdong will be a significant producer and it will be by far the largest producer outside of China,” he said. “(Sangdong) is going to run for 100-plus years. Our mine in Portugal is still operating. It’s going for 136 years and it probably has another 50 or 60 years left. Sangdong is of equal size. It’s a vast deposit. It’s an extraordinary mine.” According to Black, the average quality of the Sangdong Mine is 0.45 to 0.5 percent, the highest level and more than 2.5 times the global average, whereas the average quality of a Chinese tungsten mine is 0.18 percent. Asked whether any talks with Korean companies are ongoing over a possible supply agreement for tungsten, Black noted that discussions have begun. “We had some conversations even this morning. We can’t disclose who it is but it’s a very significant industrial player here in Korea,” he said. “This is another reason why I’m here to start these conversations of fulfilling the government’s ambition to have greater transparency with a strategic metal.” Almonty acquired the Sangdong Mine in 2015. The company signed an agreement with KfW-IPEX Bank in Germany for a loan of $75.1 million in 2020. The mine developer announced in November last year that it received a sixth drawdown of $13.7 million from the German bank to bring the total amount of drawdowns to $53.9 million. According to the mine developer, it has so far invested over 120 billion won ($90 million) for additional drilling, acquisition of the site, ordering equipment, purchasing parts and paying wages for local workers. Black pointed out that every direct job in the mining sector creates six jobs, underscoring the project’s strong economic impact on Yeongwol, which once had 40,000 residents during the mine’s heyday in the 1950s, '60s and '70s. Back then, the mine played a powerhouse role in the Korean economy as one of the biggest tungsten producers and exporters across the world. Sangdong Mine, however, could not stand its ground against the low price of Chinese tungsten later and eventually closed in 1994, devastating the livelihoods of nearby residents. The town was in a bad condition at the time of Almonty’s mine acquisition. “When we first bought the site, the village was very run down with a lot of empty buildings … the road was neglected … the village just looked abandoned,” said Black. “Fast forward to today. The road is new. There are buildings that are either gone or have been repainted. When people start to believe in a future again, they take pride in their environments and one of the wonderful things I’ve seen is how the village has come back alive. That tells me that we’re doing the right thing here. We’re heading in the right direction.” Source: https://news.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20240131000684&md=20240201003032_BL

2024.02.02

[News Article] Korean Air says Japan's antitrust regulator approves merger with Asiana Airlines

Korean Air says Japan's antitrust regulator approves merger with Asiana Airlines   The Korea Times - Korean Air said Wednesday Japan's antitrust regulator has approved a 1.8 trillion-won ($1.34 billion) merger deal with its smaller rival Asiana Airlines, moving the merger process between Korea's two full-fledged air carriers one step further. According to Korean Air, the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) approved the company's business combination with Asiana Airlines earlier in the day, marking a significant milestone in the two airlines' merger process. In November 2020, Korean Air signed the deal to acquire a controlling stake in Asiana to create the world's 10th-biggest airline by fleet. For the merger to be finalized, the airlines must win approval from competition regulators in key markets. The companies have so far won approval from 12 countries and are waiting for approval from the European Union and the United States. Korean Air said it has proactively engaged in dialogues with all concerned parties to address various concerns raised by the JFTC. According to Korean Air, the JFTC requested for Korean Air to submit remedies on select routes between Korea and Japan where the combined market share of Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and its respective subsidiaries would limit competition. The JFTC concluded that five of the 12 overlapping routes on the network were not subject to competition review, the company said. Korea Air said it has decided to cede a limited number of slots on seven routes, should other airlines decide to operate on them. These routes include Seoul to Osaka, Sapporo, Nagoya and Fukuoka, as well as Busan to Osaka, Sapporo and Fukuoka. The JFTC also raised competition concerns about the bilateral cargo network. However, with the decision to divest Asiana's cargo business, the JFTC limited its request for the airline to enter into a cargo block space agreement on select routes. The divestiture of Asiana's cargo arm is subject to the approval of all remaining competition authorities, and will occur after Asiana Airlines is incorporated as a subsidiary of Korean Air, the company said. "Korean Air is committed to constructive dialogue with the remaining authorities — the EU and U.S. — to obtain approvals at the earliest opportunity," the company said. Korean Air Chairman and CEO Cho Won-tae said in a New Year's message to company employees earlier this month that the firm "will complete the acquisition of Asiana Airlines in 2024," while noting that the process "has taken much longer than expected." (Yonhap) Source: https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2024/02/419_367973.html 

2024.02.02

[Press Release] PepsiCo Reinforces Commitment To pep+ Goals With Launch Of The Second APAC Greenhous…

PepsiCo Reinforces Commitment To pep+ Goals With Launch Of The Second APAC Greenhouse Accelerator APAC – 2024 Sustainability Edition ●The PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator - APAC Sustainability Edition 2024 will select up to 10 shortlisted applicants to receive US$20,000 in grants and mentoring from PepsiCo’s subject-matter experts, and the winning participant selected to receive funding of US$100,000 will be announced at the end of the program in September 2024. ●With the program, PepsiCo aims to address packaging waste, agricultural sustainability, and climate change by creating a positive impact through collaboration and partnerships. ●  Applications for the program are now open till 18 March 2024.     SINGAPORE, 25 JANUARY 2024 - PepsiCo today announced the launch of the second Greenhouse Accelerator program in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Following the success of last year’s program, PepsiCo is looking to make an even greater impact on the food and beverage sector in the region by collaborating with and supporting entrepreneurs who are developing innovative solutions in sustainable agriculture, climate action, and the circular economy. As the Asia Pacific experiences, a notable shift towards more sustainable supply chains in an effort to reach net zero, PepsiCo understands its position to influence and be a part of this transition. The Greenhouse Accelerator APAC Sustainability Edition is an initiative to partner with innovative entrepreneurs in the region to advance the company’s goal to be net zero by 2040. As part of the program, PepsiCo will select up to 10 applicants to receive US$ 20,000 in grants as well as mentoring from subject-matter experts from PepsiCo’s executive bench and broader leadership team. The final winner of the US$ 100,000 prize will be announced in Thailand in September 2024. Applications for 2024 are now open, and APAC startups with solutions in the sustainable packaging, climate action, and sustainable agriculture spaces are eligible to apply. The shortlisted applicants will be selected based on the degree of innovation, business model scalability, uniqueness, disruptive potential, and a mission to drive emissions reduction and circularity. “Building on the strong start we made in 2023, we are extremely proud to launch the second edition of the Greenhouse Accelerator program across the Asia Pacific region. Last year, we initiated seven pilot projects, each contributing to our sustainability goals and demonstrating the power of partnership. APAC is a focal region for agri and food tech innovation, and with new partners joining us, we aim to use our reach to positively influence the food ecosystem.” shared Wern-Yuen Tan, CEO of PepsiCo,APAC.  Since its inception in 2017, the Greenhouse Accelerator has included over 86 companies across the Middle East and North Africa, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, the United States, and APAC. To date, the collective revenue of the emerging startups has exceeded USD $20 million. Last year, the program received over 100 applications across the APAC region, with Powered Carbon delivering the winning solution. Powered Carbon’s low carbon fertilizer solution which uses CO2 to cultivate bacteria, has since been tested on potatoes in PepsiCo’s China Shandong Farm. For the second edition of the program in APAC, PepsiCo has partnered with Suntory PepsiCo Beverage Thailand, Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage, and Circulate Capital with an aim to address a comprehensive range of environmental challenges and to cultivate a generation of entrepreneurs who can drive positive impact across multiple facets of sustainability. Mr. Ashish Joshi, Chief Executive Officer, Suntory PepsiCo Beverage (Thailand), said, "As a leader in the beverage industry, Suntory PepsiCo Thailand is proactively addressing environmental challenges through an unwavering commitment to sustainability, innovation, and compliance. We are dedicated to optimizing internal processes and reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our entire value chain while collaborating with other stakeholders to achieve a net-zero carbon society. We clearly define priority issues, including achieving water conservation and replenishment, fostering a sustainable packaging management for the circular economy, and greenhouse gas reduction throughout our operation. Emphasizing the importance of collaboration, we are pleased to participate in this program to build a sustainable society that prioritizes environmental responsibility.” “Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam is proud to be a partner in this impactful initiative, create a platform where innovations can thrive and can contribute to the movement toward a more sustainable future. Our company’s sustainability strategy and goals align with the Vietnam Government’s commitment, especially its pledge to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. We have collaborated with strategic partners to implement multiple initiatives in realizing sustainability goals, notably, our phasing out of fossil fuel in manufacturing plants and reduced virgin plastic consumption leading to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.” said Jahanzeb Khan, CEO and General Director, Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam. To apply for the PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator 2024 APAC Sustainability Edition, visit the website at greenhouseaccelerator.com/apac/ or PepsiCo’s LinkedIn linkedin.com/company/pepsico 

2024.02.02