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WriterInvest Seoul Day17-11-09 16:28 View2,756회


Stefan Rentsch, TUV SUD Korea Ltd.


1.   Please introduce yourself. 
Hello, my name is Stefan Rentsch. TUV SUD Korea is working in the fields of inspection, testing, and certification. We’ve been around since almost 25 years now in Korea. And we work basically in all fields of industry from industry to mobility, products. We work with the tech giants like Samsung or LG. And we help them in mainly exporting their products into international markets. But we also look into importing goods into Korea and help exporters from other nations to bring products into Korea. 
2.   How do you think about South Korea as an optimal place to expand its business? 
First of all, Korea is among the leading economies in the world. It’s a leading export nation and it’s home of tech giants.  It has a very thriving automotive industry and also transportation industry. I think that’s very attractive especially for companies like us that are export oriented. And I think what makes it also very interesting is the innovative power that we have seen over the past years in Korea and I don’t see it stopping. So I think it’s a very excellent business environment that will shape the future.
3.   How Seoul’s industrial status has been changed compared to when TUV SUD first entered in Korea? 
We had the first office here in 1994. But at the time, I think, also Korea was not the export nation in this today. So you’ve seen a tremendous growth in export and industry in Korea. And I just remember having my first Samsung products in 1995 and in Germany. Excellent computer monitors at the time big screens not just the flat screen that we see today, but they were excellent for quality and price. And I think TUV SUD was here to support the growth of the export in Korea. And today, we are a business partner as we were back then. But I’ve expanded, of course, our business into many many different fields. At the first time when you start something, you are very focused on one specific segment, which was basically the ISO certification that we started our business in.
4.   What is the most interesting or highly regarded industry in Seoul, and why? 
I think we like to work in innovative fields because this is where the future is. And we saw a lot of activity in the recent years and also collaborations with great universities that we have here in Seoul. For us that’s an ideal environment and especially the collaboration, I think, with industry partners here makes it a very interesting place compared to maybe other places that have lower tech industries, which are more driven by labor rather than innovation. Well, I think working together with young Korean students or graduates or the people that we employ, they’re normally 30-plus, it’s a lot of fun, first of all. They are great in enthusiasm. They have, most of them have really lived and worked abroad. They speak two/three foreign languages. And they love to work in teams. So this is really something that I enjoy working with. At the same time, I think, to develop your workforce and people, is essential to become long-term successful in any kind of market. 
5.   Do you have any advice for prospective investors who are considering investing in Seoul?
Well, in the investment decision requires a lot of information first.  Information gathering and getting to know the environment that where you want to set up your business. I think Korea has excellent organizations like KOTRA that serve as a good contact point for foreign investors, especially when they don’t know anything about the country they want to invest. You have, of course, you have the chambers of commerce that are plenty here in Korea from all nationalities. There’s a Korean Chamber of Commerce and many other industry associations that can work as good business partners for future investors. Overall, I would say you have an excellent infrastructure and also the advisory services that are offered here in Korea compared to other nations and I wish we would do more of this, for example, in Europe or Germany be more proactive like Korea is.
6.   Please describe Seoul with a single word and tell us why.
I think it’s a “thriving city”. It’s growing and it’s internationalizing. So it’s a lot of fun to be here. It’s a “restless or sleepless”. It doesn’t matter what time of the day, you are taking the high ways here, you will always see a lot of cars and people going from A to B. So it has impressions that never sleep. And it’s very “hilly”. I think that’s also very nice, actually. So you have different angles at the city from every corner. You have Nam-San and you have the Buk-Han-San Mountains, which is great. So I think “hilly” is, I think, what I most like about Seoul. 



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