SK chairman moves to boost ties in Chongqing

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SK chairman moves to boost ties in Chongqing

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SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, left, meets with Sun Zhengcai, secretary general of Chongqing, at the Yuelai International Conference Center. The two discussed strengthening business ties in Chongqing. [SK GROUP]

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won visited Chongqing, a major city in southwest China, to propose building a smart city along with strengthening the development of growth engines.

Chey met with Sun Zhengcai, secretary general of Chongqing province; Huang Qifan, the mayor of Chongqing and about 20 high-ranking officials on Saturday, SK Group said. They discussed business cooperation between the region and SK at Chongqing Yuelai International Conference Center.

Sun, a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China is considered a leading candidate for the top leadership position in the party. Huang is an economics professional who has led Chongqing to top growth in terms of gross domestic product in the country, for eight consecutive quarters.

“Demands for chemical products and semiconductors in Chongqing are increasing but supply falls behind,” Sun said. “As SK Group has technologies for these areas I think Chongqing and the company can cooperate in many ways.”

In response, Chey said he will try to ensure SK Hynix’s success, including its plant in Wuxi and SK Group’s petrochemical plant in Wuhan, continues in Chongqing.

The chairman of the Korean conglomerate also proposed the construction of a smart city by creating a Low Power Wide Area Network environment that will reduce logistics costs and also maximize production and distribution via the Internet of Things.

In the first half of the year, Chongqing tied with Xichang as the fastest growing cities in China whose GDP grew 10.6 percent. Chongqing has ranked the highest by GDP growth since 2014.

The growth is one of the reasons for SK Group’s interest.

In fact, Chey’s history and interest in Chongqing dates to 2011. Not only has he built a relationship with the secretary general, but the Korean businessman has also been appointed as the city’s global business adviser.

SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest computer chip manufacturer after rival Samsung Electronics, built a manufacturing plant in the southern Chinese city Chongqing in 2014.

Chey has been increasing his business connections in overseas markets as the domestic market is believed to have reached its limits.

During the first half, the group has reaped more in revenue from overseas markets than in its home country. While SK Group’s revenue from January through June was more than 54.7 trillion won ($49.55 billion), overseas sales including exports accounted for 51.8 percent.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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