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Webinar Covid-19 The Korean strategy for business continuity and sanitary measures

On April 9th, the French-Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) organized an exceptional webinar gathering nearly 500 participants on Korea's ability to contain the Covid-19 sanitary crisis while ensuring business continuity.

The webinar gathered Mr. David-Pierre Jalicon, FKCCI Chairman and CEO of DPJ & Partners Architecture, H.E. Mr. Philippe Lefort, French Ambassador to Korea, Mr. Chang Huh, Deputy Minister for International Affairs at Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF), Mr. Sang-Hyun Chang, President of Invest Korea, Mr. Mathieu Elie, Vice-President of APAC Area for Guerbet Group, and Mr. Sébastien Falletti, East Asia correspondent for Le Figaro.

H.E. Mr. Philippe Lefort, French Ambassador to Korea introduced the seminar by congratulating Korea on its crisis management : “it seems that this strategy, without generalized confinement, is a winning strategy […] We are in intense cooperation with Korean stakeholders, from the the sanitary and economic authorities to the companies. Presidents Moon and Macron had a phone meeting on March 13th: France realized that it had to learn from the Korean strategy”.

As of April 9th, Korea reported more than 10,000 cases in total since the beginning of Covid-19 breakout (78.5 % located in Daegu and Gyeongbuk region), including 204 deaths, making Korea the country with the lowest fatality rate in the world. But the pace of cases discovery is slowing down reported Mr. Huh. The Korean government responded quickly with unlocking additional budget and putting in place special immigration procedure and social distancing rules. Mr Huh describted the “3T+P” principle of the infection measures, meaning testing, tracing, treating and participation of the population. Mr. Chang from KOTRA also highlighted the success factors of Korea: “under the principle of openness and transparency, a strong social distance was implemented, and extensive diagnosis and transparent information disclosure are recognized as exemplary responses abroad.” Mathieu Elie, from Guerbet, agreed on these principles of openness of transparency as decisive success factors facilitated by a pragmatic and innovative spirit of Korea, social cohesion and very high penetration of digital technologies such as 5G.

Regarding the economic measures to ensure business continuity, Mr Huh gave details on the € 110 billion support package program including measures to minimize labor & utility costs and stabilize the job market, create emergency funds with low interest rates, stimulate consumption, among others. Mr. Chang added details on the Korean actions to minimize the damages of the Covid crisis on trade and investment activities, including foreign-invested companies. “Currently, about 15,000 foreign-invested companies [including 245 French companies] operate in Korea and play a very important role in the Korean economy.”, he said. In a context of global economic downfall, the Korean economic growth is expected to fall at its lowest level (-0.2% according to Fitch Rating) since the 2008 global financial crisis, amidst shrinking consumer sentiment and deteriorating global value chain.

To support French economic and institutional actors to connect with Korean suppliers of medical and sanitary devices, the FKCCI has put in place a platform of supply of medical and sanitary devices, such as masks. The Chamber specifies that those activities does not incur any profits to FKCCI.

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