A group of the heads of key member firms of the Korea Iron and Steel Association(KOSA) led by Chairman Kwon Oh-joon, raise their arms at a ceremony for the 18th Steel Day held on June 9 at the POSCO Center in Seoul. They included, among others, Minister Joo Hyung-hwan of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Vice Chairman Woo Yoo-cheol of Hyundai Steel, Vice Chairman Chang Sei-wook of Dongguk Steel, and Chairman Lee Soon-hyung of SeAH Steel.
The Korea Iron & Steel Association (KOSA) held a ceremony commemorating the 18th Steel Day at POSCO Center on June 9, for the development and unity of the steel industry. Approximately 300 guests were present, including Minister Joo Hyung-hwan of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Chairman Kwon Oh-joon and CEOs of the steel industry.
They included Vice Chairman Woo Yoo-cheol of Hyundai Steel, Vice Chairman Chang Sei-wook of Dongkuk Steel, President Howard Lee of SeAH Steel, among others. Minister Joo, in his congratulatory speech, said the country observed the 18th Steel Day to commemorate the No. 1 Blast Furnace of POSCO going on stream some 44 years ago, kicking off the brilliant history of the steel industry in Korea.
The steel industry has been a main support column of the manufacturing industry, supplying the key raw materials for such top industries as auto, shipbuilding and machinery in Korea with excellent quality and competitive prices, he said.
The industry has been steadily leading the global steel export market, setting its position as the 6th leading steel industry in global terms, the minister said. He complimented the industry for its great job thus far.
He cautioned, however, that the industry faces a number of problems that it have to be taken care of for its further growth in the days ahead. The U.S. is considering a restriction on Korean steel imports to help its own steel industry recover its glory days. Korea is the third largest exporter of steel to the U.S. after Canada and Brazil, and won’t able to get around U.S. restrictions.
Minister Joo also called for more intensified focus on R&D to develop high functional steel products, including high intensity steel sheets and boosting the use of plastic, titanium, aluminum, magnesium and other replacement materials to cope with the auto, aviation and other consumer industries becoming more environment friendly and “smarter.”
Chairman Kwon, in his congratulatory speech said, “The steel industry must unite together with creative minds in order to maintain the industry`s growth and to take the opportunity for a new leap forward in the increasingly competitive global steel market.”
Since 2000, the Korea Iron & Steel Association has been celebrating Steel Day on June 9, the date on which the first molten iron was produced by a modern furnace in Korea, with various events including a commemorative ceremony, marathon and steel photo exhibitions to promote the importance of the steel industry to the public, and also inspire unity and pride within the steel industry.
The medal and award winners in recognition of meritorious achievements in the steel industry totaled 29 and included Chairman Sohn Bong-rak of TCC Dongyang, who won the Industrial Merit Silver Medal for his part in the development of steel seoktto to substitute imports and surface coated steel sheets and creation of demands for the two steel products both at home and overseas for the sake of the further development of the steel industry in Korea. Professor Min Dong-joon of Yonsei University won the Industrial Merit Bronze Medal for his contribution to the steel development of policies which helped the development of the reformative future steel technologies, along with his role in the promotion of the environment friendly steel production technologies. Director Kwak Jin-soo of Dongkuk Steel won one of the two Presidential Citations presented at the ceremony.