KEB executive wins a top award

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KEB executive wins a top award

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KEB President and CEO Yun Yong-ro, second from right, stands beside other winners at the 2013 Foreign Company Day after receiving the Industrial Service Medal on Wednesday at the Grand InterContinental Hotel in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul. Provided by the company

Korea Exchange Bank hopes to become a bridge that offers support to local small and midsize enterprises by linking them with foreign investors, said Yun Yong-ro, chief executive of the financial institution.

On Wednesday, Yun, 58, received the Industrial Service Medal at the 2013 Foreign Company Day hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Foreign Company Association. The medal honors his efforts to attract foreign investment to the country.

“[KEB] will become a reliable bridge between promising SMEs and foreign investors,” Yun said after receiving the medal.

This year marks the 13th Foreign Company Day, which is aimed at recognizing companies with foreign investment that make contributions to the Korean economy as well as foreign investment support organizations and officials.

“Yun was awarded the medal for his efforts to enhance cooperative relations through agreements with concerned agencies that encourage foreigners to invest in Korea ad attract foreign-invested companies,” said an official from the Korea Foreign Company Association. “He also put out efforts to strengthen bonds by participating in events hosted by embassies and chambers of commerce, working with local governments and supporting a wide range of events in Korea’s foreign communities.”

In an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo, Yun said the foreign investment sector in Korea has the potential to grow, which eventually will contribute to the country’s economy.

“The foreign investment market in Korea has grown,” Yun said. “The volume of foreign capital into Korea is on an increasing trend and the number of foreigners residing in Korea has reached over 1.4 million.”

According to Yun, in the first half of this year, Korea’s FDI volume reached $8 billion, up 12.5 percent from the previous year. Of the total number of investment cases, 45 percent were attracted by KEB, representing 30 percent of the total dollar amount.

Yun also added that as part of specific efforts to help attract foreign investment, he asked himself and KEB employees what he would need if he were a foreigner investing in Korea. They brainstormed ideas together and concluded foreign investors need “dedicated service.”

“For the first time in Korea, we created a department that offers services to foreign customers and also opened 15 branches that offer services to foreign investment companies,” Yun said.

Meanwhile, Yun noted that one of KEB’s growth engines is its overseas business.

“The domestic market is saturated, and it is becoming more and more difficult for banks to make a profit,” he said. “What they have to do is make new profit from overseas. We are more competitive on that end, considering that KEB has an established global business.”


BY LEE EUN-JOO, LEE TAE-KYUNG [angie@joongang.co.kr]

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