Asia Society's 14th Asian Corporate Conference



Envisioning the World's Next Great Market: Korea and the Economic Future of Northeast Asia Asia Society Dow Jones


MAY 12-14, 2004

(Seoul, South Korea – May 12, 2004) – Korea’s place in the global market and the economic future of Northeast Asia is the focus of Asia Society’s 14th Asian Corporate Conference, which opened tonight at The Shilla Hotel. Acting President Goh Kun gave the keynote address during the gala opening dinner, which was attended by more than 600 guests from throughout Asia and the United States. “Envisioning the World’s Next Great Market: Korea and the Economic Future of Northeast Asia” will continue through May 14 and features sessions examining the region’s growth potential and what its political and economic leaders are doing to make Northeast Asia the world’s most attractive area for investment. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy Lee Hun-jai will give a keynote address on the morning of May 13.

Home to almost a quarter of the world’s population and almost a third of global GDP outside of the United States, Northeast Asia is a region with sizable economic strength.

“South Korea already plays a significant role in Northeast Asia’s economy, but this conference will examine whether it can make a strong case for becoming the region’s next hub,” says Asia Society President Nicholas Platt. “This is the fifteenth year that Asia Society has held the Asian Corporate Conference, and we have returned to Seoul because of the country’s strong economic track record as well as its ambitious plans to fulfill its true growth potential. The conference provides the ideal forum for this discussion and I look forward to exchanging insights over the next two days with leading business experts, government officials and investors from countries as varied as Australia and China.”

A major conference delegation of 50 private-sector executives and local officials coming from Northeastern China has generated particular interest in recent days, especially amid the growing debate inside Korea about China’s impact on the country’s economy. Many of the drivers behind Northeast China’s economy will participate in a session dedicated to this issue on May 14.

Conference speakers and delegates—including Asian government officials and leaders of prominent international corporations and organizations are to address a range of issues affecting Korea’s growth potential and the region’s economic future. Sessions on May 13 and May 14 will address the new Korean economy: its consumer market, labor issues and trade patterns; Korea’s potential as a services-oriented international business hub; the role of banks and financial markets in regional context; the impact of North Korea on the business climate in the south and prospects for regional security cooperation; the role of China and Japan in the region’s economic integration; and ways investors and multinationals can capitalize on China’s surging trade in the region.

May 13 will also feature a special session on New Songdo City, a 1,500-acre land reclamation development project along Incheon’s waterfront that will be a major component of Korea’s efforts to become a regional business hub. A special ceremony commemorating the groundbreaking of New Songdo City took place today.

An impressive group of Korean government leaders will participate in the conference over the next two days. They include Ban Ki-Moon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Jeong Se-hyun, Minister of Unification; Kang Chul-kyu, Chairman of the Korea Fair Trade Commission; Jung-Jae Lee, Governor of the Financial Supervisory Commission; and Lee Myung-bak, Mayor of Seoul. The latest information about the conference, including agenda and speaker updates, is available on the web at

The conference is co-organized by Dow Jones. AIG and New Songdo City Development Corporation are the lead Corporate Benefactors. Additional sponsorship includes Korea First Bank as Corporate Sponsor; CJ Corp., E1 Corporation, Korean Air, Lone Star Advisors Korea, Macquarie Group, Philip Morris Asia Ltd., Poongsan Corporation, Samyang Corporation, SBS and Warburg Pincus as Corporate Supporters; and Avaya, Citigroup, FILA Korea Ltd., HSBC, Hyosung Corporation, Newbridge Capital, POSCO, TS Corporation and Woori Financial Group as Additional Corporate Supporters.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, The Federation of Korean Industries, Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Korea Employers Federation, Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business, Korea International Trade Association, Korea Society, the Korea-U.S. Business Council and the U.S-Korea Business Council have agreed to play a critical role as collaborating organizations, rallying the support of the foreign business community in Korea.

The Asia Society annually presents a high-profile Corporate Conference in Asia to examine the implications of macroeconomic trends and geopolitical developments for the region and the world. Through keynote addresses by heads of Asian governments and other key decision-makers, as well as roundtable discussions with business and policy leaders from around the world, this unique series highlights developments in the conference site country, while examining the cutting-edge issues shaping important trends in Asia's dynamic markets and in the global economy. Since 1989, the Asian Corporate Conference has attracted a combined audience of more than 12,000 participants from more than 26 countries around the world.

Asia Society is America’s leading nonprofit, nonpartisan public education organization dedicated to broadening understanding of Asia and of U.S.-Asia relations. The Society presents a wide variety of educational programs on Asian contemporary affairs and cultures for professional audiences, including business executives, foreign affairs specialists, the media and the general public. The Asia Society's Business Programs provide a leading forum for executives to meet the policy makers and business leaders who shape the Asia Pacific business environment. Asia Society is headquartered in New York, with regional centers in Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Manila, Melbourne, Australia, and a representative office in Shanghai. Asia Society is on the World Wide Web at

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