KOSA Chmn. Choi stresses soft power at New Year’s gathering for those in steel industry
Vice Minister Cheong Seung-il of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Chairman Choi Jeong-woo of the Korea Iron and Steel Association (KOSA), concurrently POSCO Chairman, Hyundai Steel President Ahn Dong-il, Vice Chairman Chang Sae-joo of Dongkuk Steel,; Chairman Lee Soon-hyung of SeAH Steel,; KG Dongbu Steel President Lee Se-cheol,; KISWIRE Chairman Hong Young-chul,; TCC Steel Chairman Sohn Bong-rak,; KOSA Vice Chairman Lee Min-chul attend a New Year’s gathering for those in the steel industry at POSCO Center in Seoul on Jan. 10. (Photo: KOSA)
“The steel industry needs soft power to tide over difficulties and uncertainties it experiences,” said Chairman Choi Jeong-woo of the Korea Iron and Steel Association (KOSA) at a New Year’s gathering for those in the steel industry at the POSCO Center on Jan. 10.
“As ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi’s saying that the soft wins the strong indicates, those in the steel industry will have to grow up with a mindset of softness and flexibility,” he added. Choi is concurrently POSCO chairman.
KOSA Chairman Choi said despite the difficulties, the steel industry managed to maintain steel exports of 30 million tons, as the private sector and government proactively addressed trade restrictions while endeavoring to solve environment issues.
Chairman Choi said inside and outside management uncertainties such as trade protectionist moves that spread to emerging countries, the range of growth rate of the steel demand predicted to stand at 1 percent, and ever-strengthening environmental restrictions will linger into this year.
Chairman Choi urged the steel industry to nurture domestic demand and explore the export industry; make the steel industry “intelligent,” establish collaboration models among large-and small-sized companies to localize raw materials, pars and equipment import; and jointly develop raw materials with steel demand companies.
Vice Minister Cheong Seung-il of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said, “The steel industry demonstrated its reserved strength as it achieved a feat of surpassing $30 billion in exports last year for the third straight year despite difficulties.”
Vice Minister Cheong urged the steel industry to join forces with government in taking a mindset of collaboration and co-prosperity. He pledged 257 trillion won in export financing, the largest-ever one, negotiations on free trade agreements, and efforts to aggressively cope with import restrictions.
Steel companies said they were considering taking steps to overcome a crisis of the steel industry like the disposing of some businesses and introduction of smart factory.
In a meeting with reporters, Hyundai Steel President Ahn Dong-il said his company was considering taking diverse steps according to each product since the steel industry is not rosy.
Data stability and connectivity will be reinforced via smart factories, he added.
About 150 people from the steel industry, the government, academia, research institute circles, and steel demand companies participated in the event.
Among the participants were MOTIE Vice Minister Cheong; KOSA Chairman Choi; Hyundai Steel President Ahn; Vice Chairman Chang Sae-joo of Dongkuk Steel; Chairman Lee Soon-hyung of SeAH Steel; KG Dongbu Steel President Lee Se-cheol,; SeAh Steel Chairman Lee Woon-young; KISWIRE Chairman Hong Young-chul; TCC Steel Chairman Sohn Bong-rak; KOSA Vice Chairman Lee Min-chul.