09/06/11: Junichi Ihara, Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles
10/19/11: David Hoffman, Director, New Products Division, Motorola Phones
11/09/11: Von-Kyoung Kim, Senior Manager, SPARC Development, Oracle
03/14/12: C.Y. Wang, Partner, Americas Area Leader of China Overseas Investment Network, Ernst & Young
04/11/12: Won Sok Yun, Director General and Chief Trade Commissioner at KOTRA (Korean Trade Investment Promotion Agency)
Mr. Junichi Ihara was appointed consul general of Japan in Los Angeles in April 2008. Prior to this appointment, he served as deputy director-general of Asian and Oceanic Affairs Bureau. His recent positions include minister at the Embassy of Japan in the United States (2004-2006), director of Financial Affairs Division (2002-2004), director of the WTO Division (1999-2002), director of the First Southeast Asian Division (1997-1999) and director of the Office of the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs (1995-1997). Mr. Ihara graduated from Kyoto University.
In his presentation, Mr. Junichi Ihara discussed how the recent earthquake and tsunami affected Japan’s infrastructure and international business community. Mr. Ihara compared the tragic events of September 11,2001 to the devastation of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011. Mr. Ihara went on to say that Japan must learn from this humbling disaster by studying the past. He also addressed the anticipated trajectory for the ongoing recovery in Japan. Mr. Ihara pointed out that the reconstruction of the affected area is of the upmost importance, and that it should provide as a catalyst for further revitalization of the area. Part of this reconstruction, he stated, is the abandoning of nuclear energy throughout the country. But, as Mr. Ihara points out, this is a process that takes time, and nuclear energy is responsible for 26% of Japans electricity. Lastly, Mr. Ihara illustrated some positives that can be taken from the disaster. For instance, he points out the increased solidarity and unity between two allies, the United States and Japan. And he also mentioned that the young Japanese people, many of whom volunteered to help in the recovery process, are becoming more socially aware and more active in political life. Mr. Ihara ended his lecture by telling the audience that Japan is in a time of transformation, politically and socially, as Japan’s political infrastructure is in constant flux. Mr. Ihara concluded by saying that he has hope for the future of the Japanese people and country.
David Hoffman is the Director of New Product Introduction for Motorola Mobility's Home Products division. He has extensive experience over the last seven years working with China manufacturing as a quality director covering both product and component levels manufacturing. Mr. Hoffman has a master's degree in engineering management from Marquette University. Motorola Mobility is a $7B company that provides innovative technologies, products and services that enable a broad range of mobile and wireline, digital communication, information and entertainment experiences. Its product portfolio primarily includes mobile devices, wireless accessories, set-top boxes and video distribution systems, and wireline broadband infrastructure products and associated customer premises equipment.
In this lecture, Mr. Hoffman spoke about the factors contributing to China’s success in manufacturing smart phones, the impact their success has on the global economy, and also China’s future as a leader in smart phone manufacturing. Mr. Hoffman shared that because of the low cost of labor, as well as the tremendous labor access of 18-20 year old in China’s workforce, China has been able to attract several smart phone companies and has been able to manufacture these phones at an incredible rate. But he also warned of the dangers of the smart phone industry putting all of their eggs in one basket, so to speak. Mr. Hoffman mentioned the fact that other nations such as India and Vietnam are beginning to catch up with China in terms of smart phone manufacturing because of lower wages. However, he noted that China is a very pro-business nation that provides many incentives to manufacturers, as well as a more suitable infrastructure to cater to businesses.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
"The Footsteps of Korean IT Industry: Past, Present and Future"
Von-Kyoung Kim, Senior Manager, SPARC Development, Oracle
Mr. Von-Kyoung Kim started his career as a flash memory chip design engineer at Samsung Electronics in 1989. He has been involved in multiple generations of microprocessor (Ultra-SPARC) development after joining Sun Microsystems in 1997. He is currently a senior hardware manager at Oracle, developing next generation microprocessors for Oracle database servers. Mr. Kim holds a B.S. in physics/computer science from Sogang University in Seoul, Korea and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.
Mr. Von-Kyoung Kim delivered a special lecture on the evolution of IT technology, and the rapid growth of the Korean IT industry. Mr. Kim gave a brief history of the evolution of IT technology and the amazing pace at which it has occurred. One statistic he shared is the fact that in 1971, the speed on the first Intel chip was .71 MHz, whereas in 2009 the speed is now at 5,000 MHz. Mr. Kim pointed out that during the 1990’s Japan had the most successful IT companies, whereas in the 2000s, the United States lead the way. Mr. Kim also focused on the future of IT technology by touching on advances such as the rapid growth of the mobile device, cloud computing, and ubiquitous networking. Turning his focus to the rise of the Korean IT industry, Mr. Kim highlighted the fact that the Korean economy had to be completely rebuilt after the Korean War. In fact, Korea’s GDP in 1960 was only 15 billion dollars, whereas in 2010 it is close to1.56 trillion dollars (ranking Korea the 12th highest GDP in the world) thanks in large part to Korea's IT industry. Mr. Kim also stressed several factors that led Korea to become such an IT hot bed. One is the fact that Korea is an ideal IT test bed, because of its tech savvy people who are willing and able to buy new products/gadget. Another reason is due to Korea’s high internet and mobile service penetration. And the final tow factors that contributed to Korea IT growth was its high population cluster and its now very large economy.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
"The Rise of Corporate China and Chinese Companies' Overseas Investments"
C.Y. Wang, Partner, Americas Area Leader of China Overseas Investment Network, Ernst & Young LLP
Mr. Wang is a current member of Ernst & Young’s Global Advisory Council. He advises Ernst & Young Americas leadership in formulating and prioritizing emerging market strategies and leads a task force to design and implement area-wide networks to better service inbound and outbound clients. He has more than 22 years of experience with Ernst & Young and his technical training is grounded in the tax areas of mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations and spin-offs. He has served U.S. and foreign multinationals, China 500 state-owned companies, private equity funds, and sovereign wealth funds on transactions. Additionally, Mr. Wang has served as an adjunct tax professor teaching consolidated return regulations and corporate reorganization courses in the M.B.T. program at Golden Gate University and has given corporate tax presentations in numerous forums. He is a certified public accountant in the state of California and received his B.S. and M.B.T. degrees from USC.
In this lecture, speaker C.Y. Wang elaborated on the rise of corporate China and the 12th Five Year Plan. He discussed the increase of China’s global fortune 500 companies over the span of seven years (from 2005 to the present) and how those numbers compare with various other successful countries including the U.S. He explained that not only are these numbers significant now, but that they are cause for other major corporations outside of China concerned with their own success, and development of strategies to compete. Mr. Wang also described the U.S trends and patterns of development and diminishment in their fortune 500 companies, and how this data relates to China’s continuous rise. He mentioned the top ten companies in the world, three of which, being Chinese: Sinopec Group, China National Petroleum, and Sate Grid. More of the fortune 500 companies are mentioned and described by Mr. Wang as he emphasized China’s leaps and bounds in the development of industry, summarizing China’s sixty-one fortune 500 companies as “old-economy”. He stated that forty-eight of these are central government or state owned companies, telling us that the difference between corporate China and corporate America, is state capital. Relating it to sports, Mr. Wang described China’s success as coming from their excessive “practice” when it comes to engineering, and their theories made into material results, compared to multiple other countries that have lacked continuous development and growth, simply holding firm to their ideas. The last main point he focused on, was China’s 12th FYP aimed at transforming the economy. One branch off of this was to transform the existing traditional manufacturing base. The other was to incubate and develop the emerging industries. Mr. Wang concluded that in order to become a global company, the company must first build itself up into one that is big.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
"Business with Korea: Foreign Direct Investment & KORUS FTA"
Won Sok Yun, Director General and Chief Trade Commissioner at KOTRA (Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency)
Mr. Won Suk Yun joined KOTRA in 1986. During his long career at KOTRA, Mr. Yun successfully initiated and developed key international projects which were critical to Korea’s overall economic growth and key industry development. Recently, Mr. Yun’s main focus was to facilitate the Free Trade Agreement between Korea and the U.S. To achieve this goal, he has successfully arranged joint seminars with the U.S. Government and KOTRA’s Korean Business Development Center. Mr. Yun’s strong expertise in international business and in-depth knowledge in global-trade and investment affairs have helped KOTRA Los Angeles to play an important role in consulting, initiating, sustaining, and developing cross-border partnerships for businesses. One of Mr. Yun’s major global partnership activities is to support businesses connectivity by participating in and organizing major international trade/convention shows such as MAGIC, Global Textile Show, CES, CTIA, etc. Mr. Yun has successfully served as, Deputy Director of KOTRA Miami, U.S. (1991-1994); Head of Commercial Section (KOTRA) of Korean Embassy Nairobi, Kenya (1998-2001); Chief Trade Commissioner of KOTRA Vancouver, Canada (2003-2007); Head of KOTRA Busan, Republic of Korea (2008-2009). Mr. Yun holds an MBA from Seoul National University.
As the Director General and Chief Trade Commissioner at KOTRA, Mr. Won Sok Yun began by explaining the global GDP, the United States’ GDP, and the fact that Asia owns approximately 25% of the globe’s total money (especially Korea, Japan, and China). With Korea slowly beginning to grow in multiple industries and businesses, its economy is growing as well, and becoming extremely large for a small country. Mr. Yun discussed foreign direct investment as it pertains to Korea and how since 1997, the government decided to open almost 97% of the domestic market for foreign companies. He listed some of the deciding factors that companies have been drawn to when doing business with Korea, including its strategic location, scientific infrastructure and world-class human resources. Relating it to the United States, Mr. Yun discussed the importance of three, more specific, growth factors: exportation, low carbon industry for the future (a green market), and innovation. Mr. Yun went on to describe that in order to promote business cooperation, to create an open business (open innovation) between foreign and domestic companies, there would be multiple steps involved. Mr. Yun also spoke about KORUS FTA, which was brought into effect March 15th of this year. Korea entered in FTA’s with two thirds of the world markets, including the United States. He explained that the general benefits of KORUS FTA are a great decrease in import tariffs and 70,000 new jobs created for the United States. KORUS FTA works on reducing tariffs for major exports such as semiconductor manufacturing equipment, electrical equipment, chemicals, agriculture (beef), medical equipment, and aerospace materials. Mr. Yun ended by discussing KOTRA, and its 50-year anniversary of establishment. Today Korea ranks seventh for total exports and its trade has risen to $1 trillion in just sixty years. On top of these accomplishments, Korea has turned itself into a donor country rather than one receiving aid.