Ambasciatore Mercuri Picture

Upon my arrival in Korea at the beginning of March 2019, I had the pleasure to meet the representatives of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Korea and I could immediately notice its vitality and the valuable contribution it has provided to the improvement of the bilateral relations between the 2 countries since its foundation in 2008. In such a rapidly changing business environment, I am therefore honored to assume the office of Honorary President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Korea and to join forces to further enhance the Italian trade, business and culture.

The partnerships and projects so far achieved between the two countries testify the impressive results of the activities promoted by the ITCCK, which benefit not only its members but also the Italian companies who are looking for new business opportunities in Korea and rely on the Chamber as an essential point of reference to find new partners. For instance, let me mention the collaboration of the Chamber with the Embassy, the Trade Agency ICE, the Italian Tourist Board ENIT and the Italian Cultural Institute for the “Week of the Italian Cuisine in the World” last November, which has been a great success in terms of promoting the authenticity of the Italian cuisine in Korea.

Trade figures show that 2018 was once again a positive year for the relations between Italy and Korea, with an overall bilateral exchange that has overcome 10 billion US dollars and a 10,7% increase in Italian exports to Seoul compared to the previous year.

Indeed, Italy has confirmed its position as the fourth largest EU exporter to Korea with outstanding outcomes in the sectors of aeronautics’ components (+77%), leather (+23%), footwear (+21%), iron and steel products (+46%) and organic chemicals (+23%). A particularly significant role is played by the fashion industry, being the “Made in Italy” fashion businesses a benchmark for high quality luxury goods (representing almost 30% of Korean imports from Italy). However, there is still space for improvements – especially in the field of investments - and I am confident that the enthusiastic work of the ITCCK, in collaboration with the whole SISTEMA ITALIA, will successfully give added value to the image of our country in Korea.

I take this occasion therefore to extend my deepest gratitude to the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Korea, its President, the Board, the Staff and its Members for the excellent work so far provided and my best wishes for a continuous cooperation and a successful 2019.

Federico Failla