IFEZ Holds Events across Europe to
Attract Interest from Investors
- Investment promotion event for KGCCI
On August 29, the IFEZ held an investment promotion event for some 100 CEOs and executives from international companies based in Germany in order to promote the IFEZ brand and attract investment interest. German participants at the event included President & CEO Barbara Zollmann of the Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KGCCI), Deputy Head of Mission Peter Winkler of the German Embassy in Seoul, and officials from German companies in the chemistry, machinery, automobile, and banking industries, notably BASF, Bayer, Siemens, Mercedes-Benz, and Deutsche Bank.
IFEZ Commissioner Lee Won Jae gave a presentation on the IFEZ’s investment environment, stating, “Some 70 biotech, medical, and healthcare companies, such as Celltrion and Samsung BioLogics, are based in the Bio Cluster in Songdo International City. Songdo is the city that holds the largest production capacity for biopharmaceutical products in the world, ahead of even San Francisco and Singapore.” He emphasized how the IFEZ has grown into a global city that the world is now paying close attention to.
Commissioner Lee added, “The construction of the Great Train eXpress (GTX-B), the metropolitan express railway system, has made it possible to access Seoul from Songdo in just 27 minutes. With such substantial expansions to the transportation infrastructure, investments in the IFEZ are expected to be further expedited.” He asked German businesses to entrust additional investments in the IFEZ, which offers a perfect geopolitical location to complement its business infrastructure.
Several German businesses have already committed to investing in the IFEZ, selecting it as their home base in Korea. Leading German companies, like DB Schenker, Mando Hella Electronics, Mando Brose, Rittal, and BMW Korea, have all established their offices in the IFEZ, while Miele, a leading premium appliance manufacturer in Europe, has built its production and R&D facilities for smart robots in Songdo, in partnership with Yujin Robot.
From September 17 to 20, the IFEZ held multiple investment promotion events to spread the IFEZ brand and attract investments from agencies and potential interested parties across Switzerland and the United Kingdom. On September 17, in particular, the IFEZ held an event to promote itself to some 60 innovative international companies in Zurich, Switzerland. This year’s event was the second of its kind hosted by the IFEZ in partnership with the Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) and Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), and it followed last year’s inaugural edition. It served as an opportunity to strengthen the relationship with the S-GE, as well as to lay a solid foundation to attract Swiss businesses by expanding the targets to encompass consumer goods and machinery. During the event, IFEZ Commissioner Lee Won Jae briefed those in attendance on the IFEZ brand and its investment environment. He emphasized the IFEZ’s benefits as a strategic location for expansion into the Chinese and Asian markets, along with its geographical proximity to Seoul. He also explained that, with its optimal business infrastructure, the IFEZ holds huge potentials and benefits for investors. The participants showed great interest in the IFEZ’s extraordinary business environment, as well as the Korean market, which is currently importing EUR 4.2 billion worth of machine tools.
Notably, the IFEZ met with the Conzzeta Group, owners of Bystronic, the world’s 3rd-largest advanced metal processing system manufacturer, and Mammut, the world’s 5th-largest outdoor brand, and the two parties agreed to work together for the planned construction of the Bystronic Korea headquarters in 2020 and for additional investments in the IFEZ by the Swiss group’s subsidiaries, which have yet to launch their operations in Korea. The IFEZ also visited ICT Switzerland and IT enterprise LzLabs to elaborate on its competitiveness as a smart city and Startup Venture Polis, also discussing the potential to further expand their business and investments in Korea.
- Investment promotion event in London, Great Britain
- Business meeting with Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders(SMMT) in London, Great Britain
During the IFEZ visit to Europe, diverse activities were conducted in line with joint investments with the UK. The IFEZ visited MedCity, which connects the UK’s leading colleges with pharmaceutical companies and investors, allowing products undergoing R&D activities in medicine and life sciences to move forward to commercialization. The IFEZ also paid a visit to Imperial College White City Incubator. Amazed by the impressive growth of Songdo International City in the global biomedical market, MedCity officials agreed to visit the IFEZ and continue their discussions on cooperation. The IFEZ also met with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the UK’s largest auto industry association (with more than 800 members), and smart electric car manufacturer Arrival, looking into trends in the UK’s auto industry and agreeing to share information going forward. Having decided to build an assembly line in Incheon and source batteries from Korean suppliers, Arrival discussed ways of cooperating with companies in Incheon for parts procurement.
Notably, the IFEZ induced a great deal of interest from MedCity and Xntree (Smart City-FinTech Accelerator) by actively promoting its plan to create Startup Venture Polis, selected in July by the Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS). An agreement was made to work closely for development model benchmarking and information sharing.