Kingston Council played host to a delegation of Korean business officials this week, in an event aimed at strengthening the borough’s business links with South Korea.
The delegation were representatives from the Chamber of Commerce from the Jinju Province and visited the borough to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kingston’s Chamber of Commerce which took place at the Guildhall.
(Main pictures shows signing of the MOU by Kae-baek Ha, Chairman Jinju Chamber of Commerce and Guy Fallows, President of the Kingston Chamber of Commerce)
The new agreement between both Chambers of Commerce demonstrates a commitment on working closer together to develop international trade, investment opportunities, the transfer of knowledge and skills, as well as promoting the development of better relationships with Korean businesses in Kingston.
Jinju Province is a significant player in the aerospace, car manufacturing industries and is renowned for its silk production. The signing of the MoU is the first that Jinju has formalised with any Chamber of Commerce in Europe and paves the way for closer collaboration in the future.
The council’s international team initiated the exploration of potential links between Jinju businesses, Kingston University and the Royal Borough. This visit follows on from the Leader of the Council, Cllr Kevin Davis, former Kingston Mayor, Cllr Geoff Austin and Kingston University’s former Assistant Director of Business Development, Amir Pirouzi’s visit to Jinju in October last year.
Speaking on behalf of Kingston Council, Leader of the Council, Cllr Kevin Davis, said: “I am delighted to see that the positive momentum created during our visit to Jinju last year has not been lost. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding is a hugely significant milestone in strengthening our links with Jinju and will undoubtedly deliver tangible benefits for both sides.”
Speaking on behalf of the Korean delegation, Mr Ha Kae-baek, Chairman of the Jinju Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:“It was a great pleasure to sign the Memorandum of Understanding between the Kingston Chamber of Commerce and Jinju Chamber of Commerce today. Thank you so much for the warm welcome to our delegation. From this moment on, I hope both sides will be prosperous in the future.”
Jerry Irving, CEO of Kingston Chamber of Commerce, said: “The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding is both a historic and momentous event which will enable us to build stronger ties with this important trading area of South Korea. New Malden has a significant Korean population, with many residents also owning and managing businesses and we believe this commitment to work together will help us to develop closer relationships with the Korean business population in the borough”.
Following the signing ceremony, the delegation visited Kingston University, where they had a tour of its state-of-the-art engineering facilities and discussed opportunities for students including placements with Korean companies.
Dean of Kingston University’s Business School, Professor Ronald Tuninga, said: “Developing strong international partnerships is key to ensuring the University continues to attract the best global talent and increase its growing reputation on the world stage. We have a strong international focus, with our staff, students and alumni now representing more than 150 countries. The University plays a significant role in the cultural and economic development of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and we welcome this visit from the Jinju Chamber of Commerce.”
Jinju Chamber of Commerce at Kingston University, Roehampton Vale Campus
Middle of the picture – Guy Fallows, President of the Kingston Chamber of Commerce, Dr Peter Barrington, Head of the Department of Aerospace and Aircraft Engineering Far right of the picture – Jerry Irving, CEO, Kingston Chamber of Commerce & Master of Ceremony & Mohammed Iqbal, Aerospace Executive, Trade Organisation for Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space (ADS)