Just growing up

Published March 2014 in Groove Korea   Jake Patchett has learned the hard way that he is not always right. The fast-talking Brit admits he gets into trouble for being mouthy and stubborn. But a few learning experiences have taught him that sometimes you should listen to the people who know better. He also likes to play with fire. One day, while planning a stunt involving a flaming skateboard, he showed off to his crewmates a trick he learned in his U.K. days: Put a bit of lighter fluid on your hand and it bursts into flames for a split…

Farmers seek edge to prosper from China FTA

Despite gloomy agriculture outlook, SMEs prepare for China opportunity Published July 4, 2013, on The Korea Herald This is the second and last in a series on the impact of the potential Korea-China Free Trade Agreement on the local agriculture industry. Seo Ji-yeon contributed to this article. ― Ed.   With Korean and Chinese policymakers due to wrap up the sixth round of negotiations on a free trade agreement between the two countries in Busan on Thursday, thousands of agriculture workers from across the country have been marching through the city in protest. More than 3,000 farmers wearing red protest…

No two chaebol are alike, author says

Published April 9, 2013, in The Korea Herald While Koreans’ rising presence on the global stage is hard to ignore, how to do business with them as a non-Korean is an increasingly tricky area little covered in English-language literature. Don Southerton explores the niche with his recently published book “Korea Facing: Secrets for Success in Korean Global Business,” which picks apart how to work with a Korean conglomerate from the ground up, for non-Koreans working in Korean branches overseas. “Over the years I witnessed firsthand cross-cultural issues that surfaced as Korean companies expanded globally. My role has been to address these issues…

Foreigners should not expect ‘freebies’

Korea Business Central community fills in gaps on doing business locally, creator says Published Dec. 11, 2012, in The Korea Herald   With the eighth-most business-friendly environment in the world ― so said the World Bank in October ― along with free government-provided services in English, Japanese and Chinese at the Seoul Global Business Center, free economic zones scattered across the country and various foreign direct investment incentives, there’s something to be said about Korea’s initiatives to help foreign businesses. It’s that foreign business owners should not expect any of it, according to Steven Bammel, creator of Korea Business Central, a…

Foreign start-ups hope city’s support breeds success

Seoul Global Business Centers offer multitude of free services for foreign start-ups Published Nov. 13, 2012, in The Korea Herald The following is the first in a series of stories featuring support and networking systems for foreigner-owned businesses in Korea. ― Ed.   Lia Iovenitti, president of market entry assistance company Conselit, put it like this: “The more you’re successful, the more money you earn, the more taxes you pay, the more Korean employees you employ. So the more successful we are, the better it goes for the Seoul Metropolitan Government and for the business situation. It’s a win-win situation for…

Youth start-up programs young, but blooming

Public and private sectors boost entrepreneurial support to tackle nation’s unemployment problem Published Oct. 3, 2012, on The Korea Herald   In an effort to tackle youth unemployment and boost young people’s enthusiasm for starting their own businesses in a conglomerate-dominated economy, the public and private sectors alike are boosting their entrepreneurship programs for ambitious new university graduates. Chung Ju-yung Entrepreneurship Competition The latest of these programs is the Asan Nanum Foundation’s Chung Ju-yung Entrepreneurship Competition, which awarded its first six winning teams in August for their ambitious industrial ideas. Created by the Asan Nanum Foundation, which is funded by…

EU FTA has silver lining for big firms

Published July 1, 2012 on The Korea Herald One year has passed since the much-lauded Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement went into effect on July 1 last year. However, high expectations that the tariff-cutting pact would give Korea’s exporters a boost into the European market have been lowered over the year as the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone continues to weaken the region’s overall demand, said an economist. While 13.8 percent of Korea’s exports were sent to the EU in 2008, that share actually slid to 9.4 percent this year amid the eurozone’s debt woes and fierce competition from rivals…

[Unpublished] Trade in the eyes of Africa

Written in Accra, Ghana, in summer 2007 for New York University’s specialized reporting program   Sylvia Ashie sat among a dozen empty tables at her open-air restaurant in Tema, an industrial town outside of Ghana’s capital Accra, writing check after check, signing invoice after invoice. After a few moments of silence, still looking down at her checkbook, she asked, “Do you think people in the U.S. want to do business in places like this?” In the early ‘90s, Ashie, 57, owner of Sylvia’s Catering Services and restaurant, opened up a second business selling food ingredients to feed the factory workers at…