President Moon to Hold Beer Summit with ROK Business Leaders

Considering that President Moon has plans to increase taxes on the wealthy and businesses to create a welfare state, President Moon better serve some pretty good beer to get these ROK business leaders on board:

President Moon Jae-in is set to hold his first dialogue with top business leaders here this week over beer to help break the ice and possibly allow more frank discussions, an official from the presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, said Tuesday.

The talks will be held Thursday and Friday, each day involving part of the top executives from the 14 largest business conglomerates, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

 

Samsung Heiress Lee Seo-hyun Named One of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Billionaires

It is hard to believe that she is 44-years old, she looks great:

Lee Seo-hyun, president of Samsung C&T’s fashion group

Samsung C&T’s fashion group President Lee Seo-hyun has been selected as one of the 10 most beautiful female billionaires in the world by Trendchaser, a U.S.-based outlet specializing in entertainment trends and news.

Lee is a daughter of Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee. Her older brother is Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, the de facto leader of Samsung, and her older sister is Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin.

Trendchaser introduced 10 female billionaires aged between 19 and 50 under the headline “Youth, Fame, Beauty, and Fortune: These Ladies Have it All.” It named Virgin Group heiress Holly Branson, Ralph Lauren’s daughter Dylan Lauren and Hearst heiress Amanda Hearst as well.

Trendchaser wrote that some of them made their fortunes on their own, while others inherited the family business.

Although the 44-year-old executive seems to be closer to the latter, the report noted she expanded the company’s business horizons into fashion and chemicals. She was also responsible for buying Italy-based fashion house Colombo Via Della Spiga.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link, but she is reportedly worth $1.5 billion.  If anyone is wondering she is married with four kids. They could have easily added her sister Lee Boo-jin to the list as well.

Lee Boo-jin and her ex-husband Im Woo-jae.

ROK Heads may remember that Lee Boo-jin recently went through a billion dollar divorce fight with her ex-husband.  So if there are any ROK Heads looking to marry a billionaire she is still available.

Lee Seo-hyun also has a brother.  Her brother is Samsung Chairman in waiting Lee Jae-yong who was arrested for corruption for his alleged role in the Choi Soon-sil scandal.  There is actually a fourth Lee sibling, Lee Yoon-hyung, but she tragically committed suicide all the way back in 2005 in New York City:

She was very pretty as well, but allegedly committed suicide because she was forbidden by her father from marrying her boyfriend because his class was too low in South Korea.

Picture of the Day: Seoul Stock Market Rise Despite Tensions

Seoul stocks hit 6-year high

An electronic board in a Korea Exchange Bank dealing room shows the country’s benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) on April 25, 2017. The KOSPI soared 23.11 points, or 1.06 percent, on foreign buying, to close at 2,196.85, marking the highest since April 22, 2011, when the comparable figure was 2,197.82 points. (Yonhap)

US Trade Deficit with South Korea More Than Doubled After Free Trade Agreement

It looks like the Trump administration will at some point demand a renegotiation of the US-ROK FTA:

The U.S. Trade Representative said Wednesday the free trade agreement with South Korea resulted in a “dramatic increase in our trade deficit,” stressing it’s time for a major review of how the U.S. approaches trade deals.

“The largest trade deal implemented during the Obama administration — our free trade agreement with South Korea — has coincided with a dramatic increase in our trade deficit with that country,” USTR said in President Donald Trump’s 2017 Trade Policy Agenda.

Compared with before the deal went into effect in 2012, the total value of U.S. goods exported to South Korea fell by $1.2 billion, while U.S. imports of goods from South Korea grew by more than $13 billion, USTR said.

“As a result, our trade deficit in goods with South Korea more than doubled,” it said. “Needless to say, this is not the outcome the American people expected from that agreement. Plainly, the time has come for a major review of how we approach trade agreements.”  [Korea Times]

I think what would be interesting to see is a report on any artificial barriers making it difficult for US companies to compete in South Korea which may contribute to the trade deficit.

LG Electronics Signs Deal to Manufacture Washing Machines In Tennessee

I am sure President Trump will be pleased with this news:

Dan Song, president of LG Electronics’ home appliances business, front left, and Gov. Bill Haslam, front right, sign a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday in Tennessee. LG agreed to build a washing machine factory in the state. In the back row from left are Curtis G. Johnson, a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives; Joo Hyung-hwan, Korean minister of trade, industry and energy; Kim McMillan, mayor of Clarksville; and William Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics USA. [LG ELECTRONICS]

LG Electronics’ plans to build a washing machine factory in Tennessee are taking shape as it seeks to sustain growth in the key American market while avoiding punitive protectionist measures from Donald Trump’s administration.

The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government on Tuesday in Tennessee, with the goal of clinching a contract by June and beginning construction by the year’s end. LG will spend $250 million on the project.

The facility, to be built on a 300-acre plot of land in Clarksville, will begin making washing machines for sale in the United States by the first half of 2019 at the earliest, LG said. The plant will be able to produce at least a million units of both front- and top-loading machines a year. The site may later expand to production of other home appliances, the company said.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

Tesla to Begin Sale of Cars In South Korea in May 2017

It looks like Korean motorists will have a high end electric car choice available to them in May:

Tesla completed the manufacturer registration process to sell cars in Korea on Wednesday, putting it on track to begin operations here within the first half of this year.

“Tesla plans to bring its test product into the country by this month and begin sales in May,” said an official from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which is in charge of the registration process.

The only step left for the automaker is to report basic specs of the model it plans to sell at least 10 days before sales begin, a relatively simple step compared to previous hurdles.   [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link, but South Korea I believe is a perfect market for electric cars considering the short driving distances to get around the country.