|American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM) Chairman James Kim speaks during the AMCHAM ESG Seminar at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, Wednesday. Courtesy of AMCHAM|
North Korea's projectile launch has limited impact on foreign biz community
By Park Jae-hyuk
Instead of being panicked by the Seoul Metropolitan Government's erroneous alert over North Korea's firing of what it claimed to be a "space launch vehicle" on Wednesday morning, American businesspeople here regarded the incident as further proof of the importance of the alliance between South Korea and the U.S.
During the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea's (AMCHAM) ESG seminar held a couple of hours after the false alarm surprised the Korean capital's 10 million residents, AMCHAM Chairman James Kim said in his opening remarks that a "very interesting wake-up call" this morning proved the importance of the two countries' relations.
"Now with Japan and Korea having really improved their ties, it's just great news for everybody here in the business community," he said.
|American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM) Chairman James Kim delivers opening remarks during the AMCHAM ESG Seminar at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, Wednesday. Courtesy of AMCHAM|
The seminar was also attended by Joy M. Sakurai, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.
"Me being here today is to reinforce how the U.S. Embassy in Seoul ― the whole U.S. government ― is committed to ensuring that American citizens, visitors to Korea and companies are safe here," she said in her congratulatory remarks. "We work very closely with our Korean government counterparts to ensure that all measures are taken to make sure that you're able to live, work and enjoy Korea safely."
She also emphasized joint efforts by the alliance for the prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region, saying that the recent Pacific Island Forum sponsored by the Korean government will help make the region a safer and more viable place for future generations.
"As we implement our leaders' shared vision with an eye toward the alliance's next 70 years, we look to AMCHAM and all of its member companies here to give us ideas on how the United States and Korea can deepen collaboration on our shared global challenges," she said.
After her congratulatory remarks, representatives of the governments and companies of Korea and the U.S. talked about the latest business trend of pursuing sustainability. Despite the emergency text message sent early in the morning, the participants, including Novelis Asia President Sachin Satpute were not absent from the seminar.
"Foreign businesspeople in Korea are immune to North Korea's provocative actions, as most of them have lived here for a long time," one of the event's participants said.
Domestic stock and foreign exchange markets were not affected by the projectile launch either.
Foreign investors rather showed a strong buying trend during Wednesday's trading session. As a result, the benchmark KOSPI closed at 2,577.12, down 0.32 percent from the previous session's close. The tech-heavy Kosdaq rose 0.64 percent to 856.94, and the foreign exchange rate stood around 1,320 won per dollar.
Analysts said the projectile launch had a limited impact on the market, as it had been forewarned.
"The geopolitical risk over North Korea has not affected the securities market," Hyundai Motor Securities analyst Lee Jae-sun said.