Foreign, Korean CEOs talk after business summit
By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Top global executives took advantage of the rare opportunity to meet and discuss business opportunities with their Korean counterparts in Seoul, a day after the conclusion of the G20 Business Summit.
Some 100 one-on-one meetings between executives from global and Korean companies had been scheduled before and after the two-day summit at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill Hotel.
SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, who had a high-profile role at the business summit, held talks regarding a possible collaboration with Josef Ackermann, chairman of Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank.
SK Telecom President Jung Man-won also met with Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Canadian firm Research in Motion, which makes Blackberry smartphones.
Italian energy company Enel CEO Fulvio Conti held talks with Korea Electric Power (KEPCO) President Kim Ssang-su to discuss further cooperation. Yonhap News reported the two officials signed a letter of intent to ``cooperate in developing and exchanging new smart-grid technologies.’’
The G20 Business Summit gathered CEOs and business leaders from 120 of the world’s biggest companies for discussions on finance, trade and investment, green growth, and corporate social responsibility. G20 leaders from Spain, Japan, Argentina, Mexico, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Germany were also present at some of the meetings.
A special networking dinner among chief executives and business leaders from 120 global companies was held at the Walkerhill, Thursday evening. The businessmen were also invited for a special dinner hosted by President Lee Myung-bak for the leaders and other officials from the G20 countries, to be held Friday.
The summit showed unprecedented collaboration among top business leaders who came out with recommendations on how to address the most pressing issues in the global economy, which were presented to the G20 leaders for their perusal.
At the end of the summit, business leaders emphasized their commitment to support the G20 in its efforts to strengthen the global economy and deepen international cooperation.
``We hope that the G20 leaders recognize the value of business input into the G20 process and in doing so, seek to build on the Seoul Business Summit and its framework for engagement in 2011 and thereafter,’’ Nestle Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe said, during a press conference, Thursday.
Marcus Wallenberg, chairman of Swedish group SEB, hoped the G20 Business Summit will come up with a report card to measure progress and check the actual outcomes of its recommendations.
``One wish we all have today is whether we can find some way to institutionalize this relationship between government and business,’’ Wallenberg added.
There are expectations the business summit, with its important role of giving a voice to the private sector, will be institutionalized as an official part of future G20 summits in France and Mexico.