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The Summit on the State of South Korea – Challenges & Opportunities

January 24, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm


Conference Schedule, January 24th

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Check-in.
9:30 a.m. – 9:40 a.m. – Welcome Remarks from George Washington University
9:40 a.m. – 9:50 a.m. – Welcome Remarks from Ambassador Ahn ho-Young, Republic of Korea
9:50 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Keynote Presentation by Dr. Hee-Beom Lee title Korea – USA Relations – Distinguished Past, Dynamic Present, and Exciting Future
10:30 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. – MOU Ceremony between GW and PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 
10:50 – 11:20 a.m. – Presentation by Mrs. Tami Overby – USA – S. Korea Relations – The Role of Business for Growth and Prosperity 
11:20 – 12:00 p.m. – Panel Discussion titled: The Role of Academia to Promote Korean Management – A New Approach (Panelists include Drs. Yoon Park, Dr. Ki Chan   Kim, Dr. Hee Beom Lee) and moderated by Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
12:10 – 2:00 p.m. –  Networking Lunch

Keynote Speakers

President and CEO of PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 
Visiting Professor of Management, The George Washington University

Aug. 2007 Honorary Doctorate Degree in Public Administration, Hoseo University, Korea
Aug. 2003 Ph.D. in Business Management, Kyunghee University, Korea
May 1987 MBA, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Feb. 1973 Graduate School of Public Administration, Seoul National University, Korea
Feb. 1971 BA in Electronics Engineering, Seoul National University, Korea

Senior Vice President, Asia, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
President, U.S.-Korea Business Council

Tami Overby, senior vice president for Asia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, leads Washington’s premier international policy
team that is devoted to helping American companies compete and prosper in Asia’s dynamic marketplace.

Overby is responsible for developing, promoting, and executing programs and policies relating to U.S. trade and investment in Asia. She works closely with Chamber member companies, business coalitions, AmChams, government leaders, and business executives to achieve their business objectives in this very important part of the world. Overby and her team led the efforts for the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement ratification. She works with a talented senior-level group of professionals including Jeremie Waterman, executive director for China and senior policy adviser for Asia; Jim Fatheree, senior director for Japan and Korea; Esperanza Jelalian, director for South Asia; and John Goyer, senior director for Southeast Asia.


Professor of International Business, The George Washington University

Dr. Y. S. Park is currently Professor of International Finance at the School of Business of George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  In addition to George Washington University, he also taught at Georgetown University and Columbia University.

Prior to joining academia, he had worked for the World Bank as a Senior Economist and then served as the Financial Advisor to the Chairman of the Samsung Group in Korea.  He has also served as a member of the boards of directors of both Samsung Corporation, a large Korean chaebol company, during 1998-2009 and currently the Korea Economic Institute of America, Inc.

In addition to his MBA in finance and MA in economics, Prof. Park has received two doctorate degrees: PhD in economics from George Washington University and Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in international finance from Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration.

Professor of Business Administration, The Catholic University of Korea
Immediate Past President, International Council for Small Business
2015-2016 Visiting Professor of Management, The George Washington University

Dr. Ki-Chan Kim is a Professor of Business Administration at The Catholic University of Korea. He received a PhD from Seoul National University, Korea, and has researched at the University of Tokyo, and MIT as a visiting scholar. His research interests are modularization with IT, inter-firm relationship at the automotive industry, and supply chain management.

Dr. Kim is the current President for the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) Board of Directors. He is Past-President of the Asian Council for Small Business, the Asian regional affiliate of ICSB. Through his role as Past-President, he hosted the 2014 Annual ACSB Asian SME Conference in Seoul, South Korea. He is also one of the Chief Researchers of HeBEx Healthiness of Business Ecosystems, a new and innovative report seeking to assess the relative healthiness of a country’s creativity, opportunity, and productivity.



Conference Date: Tuesday, January 24th

The CityView Room Balcony at The George Washington University overlooks the Washington Monument and Tidal Basin.
The City View Room Balcony at The George Washington University overlooks the Washington Monument and Tidal Basin.

The Korean economy faces both opportunities and challenges. Yet recently more challenges have garnered global attention that has dimmed some of the Korean spark. Everyone knows about the Samsung major tumble with the release of their latest phone. Yet, this is small in comparison to some major storms swirling within the Korean economy. This one day KMI summit will discuss some of the severe head-winds bubbling within the Korean economy.

Challenge #1: The new normal is a state of many questions and possibilities. How does S. Korea see its role and strategy in terms of politics, trade, and security with the United States?

Challenge #2: What is S. Korea really? It is sandwiched between the fast-developing and advanced countries—not yet catching up with the advanced economies while being chased closely by the rising ones (especially China).

Challenge #3: The labor unions not playing along! The labor union is described as militant with increased regulations, the country’s international competitiveness is declining and is facing a crisis in technology, profits, market domination and high-tech industries.

Challenge #4: Innovative but is it really Creative? Businesses have perfected the incremental innovation art. Samsung captures it all. Yet, to grow you need disruptive change and that comes from a push to develop creative companies. Apple is also struggling. What to do?

Challenge #5: The New S. Korea Anti-Corruption Law, a mini nuclear bomb.
South Korea, the fourth-largest economy in Asia, moves forward in its battle against corruption as bribery persists in everyday politics and businesses. Last March the Government passed the Kim Young-ran Act, a legislation that aims to reduce corruption levels by putting limits on the culture of gifts. Starting on September 28th, 2016 this law goes into effect. An analysis of the new law and its impact on how Koreans will conduct business.

Challenge #6: The Youth Problem, Lowest Fertility rate in the World.
Low fertility is another serious challenge to the Korean economy, as is an aging society that will contribute to a slow down in economic growth.

Challenge #7: Post-Industrial Blues, The Gap between Rich and Poor expanding.
South Korea is also experiencing problems common to post-industrial societies, such as a gap between the rich and the poor, social polarization, social welfare issues, and environmental degradation.

Challenge #8: The Mortgage System? Does it match what is needed in S. Korea?
S. Korea employment system is based on long-tenures at companies. It is common to be employed for life. Yet, the current mortgage system is strict and aggressive in repaying a mortgage used to purchase a house or apartment. This limits the purchasing power of young couples to start families. This leads to lower fertility and other social ills.

Challenge #9: The Galápagos syndrome in S. Korea?
The term “Galápagos syndrome” was originally coined to refer to Japanese 3G mobile phones, which had developed a large number of specialized features and dominated Japan, but were unsuccessful abroad. Whilst the original usage of the term was to describe highly advanced phones that had no use outside Japan. Is S. Korea following suit like Japan?

Challenge #10: A Pope President Needed in S. Korea?
S. Korea will held new presidential elections soon. Yet, the high rhetoric and animosity between the political parties is at its highest. With all these challenges, S. Korea may need a new type of President. What S. Korea may need is a transformational leader that leads with a humane approach; is it possible?


January 24, 2017
9:00 am - 2:00 pm


CityView Room at the George Washington University
1957 E Street NW
Washington, DC 20052 United States


Korean Management Institute (KMI)
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