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Second Annual Conference for Business with Korea

On December 5th, 2011; The YONACO Group  along with The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute organized the Second conference for Business with Korea in Israel.

The Leonardo City Tower Hotel in Tel Aviv hosted the Second Conference for Business with Korea; over 300 leading managers, CEOs and entrepreneurs from various fields in the Israeli industry were present, as well as important guests from Korea. There was extensive coverage of the event by local media representatives.

This year the Conference for Business with Korea was a two days event. The first day of was dedicated to panels on Mutual Investment, Raising of Foreign Funds, Mergers and Acquisitions and Strategic Partnerships and Cooperation. The second day was dedicated to personal meetings between Israeli companies and the Korean Investors; the rest of the week was dedicated to meeting Israeli companies at their factories and facilities.

Among the notable guests at the conference this year one could note the new Korean Ambassador to Israel, H.E. Mr. Kim Ilsoo; Deputy Director of The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, Mr. Yigal Haccoun, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Director Mr. Yigal Caspi, YONACO Group Korea CEO, Mr. In-Soo jung, YONACO GROUP CEO, Mr. Itzik Yona cpa., as well as some respected guests from Korea, such as Ki-Won Park, Daegu-Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone Deputy Commissioner and L&S Venture Capital Managing Partner, Mr. Joo Seong-Jin, and many more.

The first speech at the conference was delivered by Mr. Yigal Haccoun, Deputy Director of The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, who declared South Korea as a target state of the Israeli Export Institute. Mr. Haccoun called on the Israeli business community to increase its cooperation with South Korea.

H.E. Mr. Kim Ilsoo, the new Ambassador of Korea in Israel, in his first public appearance in Israel mentioned the huge potential Korea holds for Israeli companies. Ambassador Kim talked about the major interest the Korean market has in the Israeli innovation in the High-Tech industry. He concluded by mentioning the astonishing achievement both the Korean and Israeli economies managed to achieve in maintaining a free and successful economy, despite the fact they are both surrounded by enemies.

Former Israeli Ambassador to Korea, and current deputy director of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Yigal Caspi spoke about the Korean experience from a diplomatic point of view. He shared with the audience his experience as a diplomat arriving to Korea, and his feelings of admiration from the Koreans for the Israeli education system and Israel’s achievements, mainly due to the high number of Israeli Nobel laureates. Mr. Caspi mentioned that the admiration towards Israel doesn’t stop at education, but extend to other aspects of Israel, such as security. He believes Israel and South Korea, who has a hostile neighbor to the north, could find a lot in common and cooperate together in security and defense systems projects.

KOTRA director in Israel, Mr. Lee Yung-Sun, talked about the development of foreign investment in Korea. In his speech he mentioned the continuing significant growth of the economic relations between Israel and Korea. Mr. Lee said that according to recent data, the size of mutual trade between both countries will reach the $2 billion mark in 2011.

Chief Economist at the Israeli Export and International Cooperation Institute, Mr. Shauli Katznelson, spoke about the economic aspects of Korea as an export target country for Israel. He also mentioned the importance of presence of the Israeli business community in Korea and the importance of Korea as a bridge for business in the entire East Asia region. Mr. Katznelson presented a comparative model between the two countries and showed that the expenditure on health in Korea is expected to grow by 70-80% in the coming years. The model showed both countries have similar ranking in the ease of doing business with grade. To conclude his lecture, Katznelson mentioned the fact that Korea exports 52% of her GDP, whereas Israel stands at only 37%.

Mr. Yigal Karni, the director of marketing to Korea at Elta – AIA, spoke about the success story of the company in Korea and the process of building a successful cooperation as a foreigner in Korea. He described how an Israeli security company succeeded to export in the hundreds of millions of dollars to Korea. Mr. Karni noted that for the first time in history, technologies that were developed specifically for the Israeli plane, the “Lavi”, are being incorporated into a fighter plane that was designed and developed in South Korea.

The first guest from Korea to speak at the conference was Mr. Ki-Won Park, deputy commissioner at Daegu-Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone. Mr. Park revealed to the Israeli audience the ?insensitive? program of the Korean government to encourage the establishment of foreign enterprises in the Free Economic Zone. The benefits the Korean government has to offer, explained Mr. Park, include tax benefits and incentives for the encouragement of local employment and rental of real estate at the region.

L&S Venture Capital, managing partner, Mr. Joo Seong-Jin announced his decision to invest in Israeli technology companies in the coming months after the conference, thus setting a milestone to strengthen the bilateral relations even further. One of the measures of success will be if it is possible to incorporate the technology in one of the Korean conglomerates in the future.

The last speaker at the conference was the CEO and founder of the YONACO Group, cpa. Itzik Yona. Mr. Yona discussed his personal experience in purchasing a Korean company and about business deals between Korean and Israeli companies he helped complete. He proclaimed that the famous Israeli “Shakshuka System” is not applicable in Korea, thus Israeli companies must change the way they think and operate when coming in contact with Korean enterprises if they wish to reach a deal and conduct business with Koreans.




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