Koo wins Korean-American Friendship Award

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Koo wins Korean-American Friendship Award

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Koo Pyong-hwoi, right, the honorary chairman of E1, receives his award from Hyun Hong-choo, former Korean ambassador to the U.S., at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul yesterday. [YONHAP]


Koo Pyong-hwoi, the honorary chairman of E1, a leading LPG provider in Korea, became the eighth recipient of the Korean American Friendship Award yesterday.

The award, which was handed out during “Korean-American Friendship Night,” held by the Korean-American Association, honored Koo for his efforts and contributions to the development of the friendship between Korea and the United States.

Koo is a business leader who emphasizes not only business aspects, but also sports, culture and the arts.

In his acceptance speech, Koo emphasized the importance of such areas to widen the Korea- U.S. relationship in the private sector.

“As a businessman with 50 years of experience, I realized early on the profound importance of international exchanges in the private sector,” Koo said. “If diplomatic ties between countries are analogous to the ‘cool head,’ international friendship in the private sector is the ‘warm heart.’”

Koo’s half decade of business experience includes being the CEO of GS Caltex (1974 to 1987), CEO of LG International (1989 to 1995), and the advisor for LG Group at the time of its establishment (1995 to 2002).

Along with his corporate experience, he has been chairman of various organizations, including the Korea-U.S. Economic Council (1991 to 2000), international chairman of Pacific Basic Economic Council (1992 to 1994), Korea International Trade Association (1994 to 1999), the bidding committee for the 2002 World Cup (1994 to 1996), and the Korean-American Association (2001 to 2008).

“I cannot find a better description of the revolutionary development we have made than the ‘Miracle on the Han River.’ At the same time, we should never forget that the economic assistance and security support from the U.S. were indispensable components behind the miracle,” said Koo.

“The friendship and goodwill that Korea and the United States have developed for more than a half a century will not degenerate. Rather, our relationship should be raised up to the next level.”

Koo is the only person from the business sector to receive the award and the fourth Korean to receive the award.


By Jung Seung-hyun [seungjung@joongang.co.kr]

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