Korea’s largest bio expo launches

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Korea’s largest bio expo launches


Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Yoon Sang-jick, seventh from right, and other VIPs pose for a photo during the opening ceremony for the Bio Industry Expo Osong Korea 2014 on Friday at Osong Bio Valley in Cheongwon, North Chungcheong. The event runs through Oct. 12. Provided by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

North Chungcheong aims to become a local hub for biotechnology by hosting the country’s largest bio industry exhibition.

The Bio Industry Expo Osong Korea 2014 kicked off last Friday with the theme “The Secret of Life, Beautiful Future” and will run through Oct. 12 at the 170,000-square-meter Osong Bio Valley in Cheongwon, North Chungcheong, about 130 kilometers south of Seoul.

A total 18 government organizations, bio industry businesses and groups have sponsored the expo, which has had 25 billion won ($24 million) worth of investment - the largest amount for an event related to the bio industry in Korea.

The expo’s organizing committee said that some 300 companies and 700 buyers are participating in the 17-day exhibition, adding that it is expected to draw in some 700,000 visitors. Over the weekend, 100,000 people visited the expo, according to the committee.

North Chungcheong’s vision dates back to 2002 when it first hosted an international bio expo. But with the 2008 completion of Osong Biovalley - the nation’s only state-planned bio industry cluster - the provincial government decided to launch an expo on a larger scale.

Some 60 bio and medical companies are based at Osong Biovalley as well as six institutions under the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

“Through the Osong International Bio Industry Exposition, Osong Biovalley will be recognized and develop further as a core bio industry area on a national level,” the organizing committee said in a press release.

“The exposition will not only promote construction of the Osong Biovalley infrastructure, attract domestic and international investments and contribute to increased exports, it will also expand market advancement opportunities for the rapidly developing bio industry.”

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

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