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KCCI opens office in Germany for AI, energy collaboration

June 10, 2024 - 15:28 By Park Han-na
The headquarters of IHK Frankfurt am Main, located in Frankfurt, Germany, where the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry's German office is launched. (KCCI)

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, South Korea’s major business group, said Monday it launched an office in Frankfurt to build a broader network in Germany where the largest number of Korean companies are doing business in Europe.

Germany, home to smart factories embedding artificial intelligence and clean energy technology, is Korea's largest trading partner in Europe. Korea is the second-largest export market in the Asia-Pacific region after China.

“The office located in Frankfurt will search for strategic responses on common pending issues encountered by the two countries by enhancing the business network,” the KCCI said in a statement.

The new location marks the KCCI’s third overseas office, following the establishment of offices in Beijing in 1993 and Hanoi in 2009.

About 880 Korean entities operate in Germany, the highest number in Europe. Last year, trade between the two countries reached a record high of $33.9 billion.

Since German authorities launched a program called "Industrie 4.0" in 2013, which aimed to promote the digitalization of manufacturing processes, the country has received intensive attention from global companies for having state-of-the-art technology in control systems and robots.

“It has become a test bed for enterprises seeking business opportunities in climate change as Germany continues to push for its environmental policies, such as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism,” the group said.

The German office of the KCCI will serve as an economic collaboration platform between Korean and German businesses along with the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

They will collaborate to research and resolve difficulties faced by companies while sharing information such as the latest EU policies and German laws and systems. The organizations will also work to build networks with the German government and other economic organizations.

With the European Union’s 27 member states cast votes for the parliament’s 720 seats last week, the business groups vowed to carry out joint outreach programs for the new EU leadership.

“As concerns about the global supply chain are growing due to recent geopolitical risks and domestic industry protectionism, a joint response is urgently needed between the two countries, which have similar industrial structures centered on manufacturing,” KCCI Senior Vice President Park Dong-min said during an opening ceremony of the Frankfurt office.

“While strengthening trade cooperation through the networks of both countries, we will support each other to complement each other’s weaknesses in the value chain,” he said.