On the morning of 2 December, Cheongju Broadcasting (CJB), a radio and TV station from South Korea, organized for 22 CEOs of Korean SMEs to attend a forum at UIC. Using the topic title “Workshop on understanding industry in Guangdong, China”, the CJB CEO Forum at UIC began with UIC professors explaining the industry, economic development and investment potential in Guangdong.

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The reason for choosing UIC to host the forum was due to Zhuhai being an emerging city in Asia and the participants of the forum wanted to know what the driving force of its development is, as well as what kind of problems it faces and how to solve those problems. In addition, UIC has grown up as a remarkable college in a short time in Zhuhai so they wanted to visit and see UIC as a good example of Zhuhai.

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22 CEOs from South Korean SMEs along with Cheongju Broadcasting (CJB) came to UIC

The majority of the CEOs worked in small and medium enterprises (SME) in South Korea within the chemical, electronics and feed service industries. The CEO of Aimsak, a leading manufacturer of high quality power tools, mentioned that the development of the Pearl River Delta region closely linked with the global economy, and he hoped that this forum for the CEOs of South Korea would provide a learning platform to help broaden their international horizon as well as to seek investment and cooperation opportunities.

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Dr Seon Phil Sunny Jeong, an Associate Professor of the Computer Science and Technology Programme in the Division of Science & Technology, introduced Zhuhai and Guangdong industry. He mentioned that since the economic reform in 1978, the Pearl River Delta region has benefited from its unique location, which has facilitated many advantages in economic development.  Dr Jeong went on to talk about Guangdong taking the lead by using a development model that has attracted attention from overseas. Plus he explained that the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will open allowing for a new way of traffic across the Pearl River Delta that will boost the economic development, which will play a vital role that cannot be ignored. Dr Jeong believes that as the world's longest cross-sea bridge, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is expected to bring in huge economic and social benefits.

Dr. Sunny Jeong

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First speaker: Dr Seon Phil Sunny Jeong

The second speaker was Mr Ben Man-Bun Wong, a Senior Lecturer and Associate Director of SAO.  He spoke about the 13th 5-year-plan that the Chinese party has implemented. He also spoke about the economic development of South Korea as well as a comparative study to seek more opportunities for cooperation and development.  Mr Wong talked about China expanding in creativity and innovation while mentioning that R&D, investment and output need to be strengthened. He mentioned that South Korean companies are very innovative and their practices are worth learning from.

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Second Speaker: Mr Ben Man-Bun Wong

Dr Joseph Joo Suk Park, an Assistant Professor of the Public Relations & Advertising (PRA) programme in the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences (DHSS) was the third and final speaker at the forum.  He talked about “Understanding Marketing PR” and discussed getting to better know China’s market from a perspective of integrated marketing communication. He explained that many foreign businessmen still think the Chinese market as one that relies mostly upon volume. He explained further that substantial market changes are happening at various levels, therefore any businessmen, whoever they are and whatever they do, really need to have market insights to get themselves savvy and well streamed-lined in utilizing their marketing assets and developing different levels of market opportunities.

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Third Speaker: Dr Joseph Joo Suk Park

The participants discussed the future of Guangdong's economic development prospects and generally agreed that Guangdong still has great potential, and showed a strong interest in investment.

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The following day, the delegation of South Korean CEOs and CJB went on a guided tour around Kingsoft. Kingsoft is a Chinese software company based in Zhuhai that has historically concentrated on development for the internet and Microsoft Windows operating systems. They also conceived a separate mobile internet subsidiary called Cheetah Mobile.  In addition, they have also worked on security software products, for example a free cloud storage platform known as Kingsoft Kuaipan. The forum participants believed the trip to Kingsoft was a good chance to see one of China's symbolic companies and they were greeted with nice and professional hospitality.

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Chinese Software company Kingsoft provided a guided tour for the CEOs

Overall, the workshop received a lot of positive feedback especially after the participants had a vigorous discussion and shared their ideas.  Many of the participants requested the forum organizer (CJB) to make this an annual event as they want to come back again to see the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge as well as other further developments in Zhuhai.

Reporter: Samuel Burgess (MPRO)
Photographer: Deng Wenwen (FIN, Year 4), Liu Qian (ACCT, Year 1), Zhou Chunmei
(with special thanks to the ELC)