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Plant Sector Strengthens Ties between Korea and Russia
The plant industry has emerged as a kingpin of Korea-Russia economic cooperation, taking advantage of the natural complementarities of the two countries in the area of resource development and their geographic proximity. Russia is endowed with plentiful natural resources while Korea has abundant expertise and experience in overseas plant construction.
President Roh Moo-Hyun's visit to Russia offers another opportunity for the Northeast Asian neighbors to cement trade, industry and business ties. During the presidential visit, LG International Corp. planned to sign a deal to participate in a $2.7 billion refinery project in Tatarstan. In addition, Samsung Corp. and Daewoo International Corp. are pushing ahead with projects to participate in the refinery and power plant sectors, respectively.
The important plant projects that are being realized now in Russia are the fruit of Korea's sincere and vigorous efforts to develop national infrastructure in support of bilateral economic cooperation. For example, the LG International project resulted from a feasibility study supported by the Korea Plant Industries Association (www.kopia.or.kr) and the Korean government. The feasibility study initiative reflects Korea's policy to pursue win-win economic cooperation with promising partners and to facilitate the overseas business of capable Korean plant industries. Since 2001, Korean financial support for feasibility studies has reached a combined $4.7 million involving 42 projects, according to KOPIA.
Korean, foreign or joint teams can initiate applications for financial support of up to $450,000 per feasibility study. KOPIA expects more Russian projects to take advantage of its feasibility study-funding program in the near future.
Another successful KOPIA initiative to nurture mutually beneficial relationships with potential partners is the Visit Korean Plant Industry Program, which invites plant-related CEOs in the private and public sector to Korea to see for themselves what Korean plant industries have to offer.
Following the success of the first visit program last year, the Visit Korean Plant Industry Program 2004 will be held Oct. 27-30 in Seoul in conjunction with the Plant Technology & Equipment 2004 exhibition.
The program to identify new opportunities through plant cooperation between Korea and foreign partners is fully supported by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Energy.
The Korea Plant Industry Association was organized in 2003 to create synergy effects through cooperation among the individual expertise and experience that Korea's engineering, heavy industry and general trading companies possess in consideration of the plant industry's requirements for technologies in a wide variety of specialized fields from engineering, production and installation of equipment and materials to construction.
KOPIA also supports plant construction and contractors through close coordination and consultation with Korea Export-Import Bank, Korea Export Insurance Corp. and resource development firms like Korea Electric Power Co., Korea Gas Corp. and Korea National Oil Corp.
The association serves 47 regular and special members by being an external window for the domestic plant industry, developing small and medium plants, supporting exports and mapping out a long-term development vision for Korea's plant industry.