Philadelphia, September 12, 2016 – City Councilman David Oh (At Large) traveled to Korea from August 28th to September 2nd to promote diplomatic, cultural and international business opportunities between Philadelphia and Korea. Councilman Oh, Chairman of Council’s Committee on Global Opportunities and the Creative/Innovative Economy and the first Korean American elected to political office in the top 10 cities in the United States, traveled at the invitation of the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Korea.
The trip laid the groundwork for a future official trade mission from Korea to Philadelphia and further positioned Philadelphia as a center for new diplomatic relations and business opportunities with Korea.
Some of the highlights included the following:
- Discussions with Korea’s National Independence Center to bring a major international event to Philadelphia during the 100th Anniversary of the Declaration of the Korean Independence Movement, which occurred in Philadelphia in 1919. Councilman Oh met with Mr. Junghyeon Ahn, Secretary General of the Independence Center and his staff to continue working on preparations for events that are being planned for 2019 in Philadelphia.
- Meetings with prominent business leaders. Pitching Philadelphia as an emerging hub for technology start-up companies, Councilman Oh met with CEO Sanghun Kim of Naver, a dynamic technology company which Forbes listed as the 13th most innovative company in the world in 2016. Additionally, the potential for developing an education-based theme park in the available real estate surrounding the Liberty Bell was discussed with Mr. Dongki Park, President & CEO, Lotte World Adventure, which operates the world’s largest indoor amusement park.
- Securing collaborative opportunities to spur Philadelphia’s creative economy in partnership with the Content Industry Office of Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Sports and the Incheon Metropolitan City’s Bureau of Culture, Tourism, and Sports. The latter is a key sponsor of the annual three-day Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival, which is organized by YESCOM Corp. In 2015, it attracted 97, 845 people to Incheon. Both entities are interested in partnering with Philadelphia to provide exchange programs for members of the creative economy, including working with YESCOM Corp to allow local musicians from Philadelphia to participate in the Pentaport Rock Festival.
- A meeting with Mr. Jung Soo Kim, Executive Managing Director of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, to begin the process of organizing trade missions that would be beneficial to both regions. A trade mission to Philadelphia will promote the city’s investment opportunities in life science sectors, technology, music, film and entertainment, tourism, and manufacturing and natural gas. In preparation, Councilman Oh will establish a transparent process for identifying prospective businesses to participate in Philadelphia.
- A meeting with Mr. Hyoung-zhin Kim, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs and his staff, to strengthen the relations between Philadelphia and Korea. Topics of discussion included the potential establishment of a satellite consular office in Philadelphia, an effort led by the Korean American Community in Philadelphia and supported by City Council Resolution No. 160434.
- Meetings with the Members of the National Assembly to strengthen the relations between Philadelphia and Korea.
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Councilman David Oh is currently serving his second term as an At Large member of Philadelphia City Council. In January 2016, he was elected as Council’s Minority Whip by his colleagues. More information at phlcouncil.com/DavidOh