2017-10-26 17:16
Future of productivity discussed in Seoul
Korea Productivity Center Chairman Hong Soon-jick delivers an opening speech at a conference on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the future of productivity at Le Meridien Seoul, Thursday. / Courtesy of Korea Productivity Center

By Park Jae-hyuk

Bureaucrats and businesspeople from 20 Asian countries, including Japan, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand, gathered in Seoul to discuss the future of productivity in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Marking the 60th anniversary this year, the Korea Productivity Center (KPC) hosted a global conference on the topic at Le Meridien Seoul, Thursday.

Executives of Amazon, Microsoft, NVIDIA and Samsung also attended the conference.

The participants discussed ways of cooperating with global enterprises and adopting new technologies, which will enable latecomers to survive in the new era. They discussed enhancing the productivity of Korea’s small and medium enterprises and improving the country’s economic structure.

The conference was the finale of the Asia Productivity Organization’s three-day workshop meeting of the heads of national productivity organizations from Tuesday to Thursday.

“Since it introduced the concept of management to Korea, the KPC has contributed to improvement of national productivity over the past 60 years, by adopting advanced technologies and introducing new methods,” KPC Chairman Hong Soon-jick said during the opening ceremony.

“By using the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), the KPC will focus on maximizing added value, in line with the government’s innovative growth policy. We will spread core technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution through the country’s SMEs, so as to enhance the overall productivity of the economy.”

Matthew Le Merle, co-founder of the U.S.-based Fifth Era, referred to the present age as the fifth era and spoke about measures to innovate businesses during his keynote speech.

Atsushi Sunami, vice president of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Japan, emphasized the government’s role in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. LG Uplus Vice President Kim Sang-bu shared the company’s measures to use AI, big data and IoT.

Global companies also introduced their business strategies.

Amazon Managing Director Chandan Sharma mentioned GE, Samsung, LG and Novartis as examples of leading companies that adopted Amazon Web Services. He discussed ways for cooperation through the company’s cloud computing platform.

Microsoft General Manager Kimberly Leader talked about how new technologies integrated with MS Office can affect a company’s digital innovation, citing AIA Group and Mars as examples. Kazuto Hirose, business development manager of NVIDIA, introduced the company’s AI technology based on a graphics processing unit.

Sohn Young-kwon, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics, delivered a speech on the present and future of Silicon Valley’s Fourth Industrial Revolution. Introducing the innovative strategies of companies in Silicon Valley, he came up with Korean companies’ possible countermeasures.