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Paul Hastings 2013 Asian Century Forum Highlights Opportunities in Rising Korean Outbound Investment

May 20, 2013

Seoul, South Korea (May 20, 2013) – Co-hosted by leading global law firm Paul Hastings and the Financial Times, in association with KOTRA and Invest Korea, the 2013 Asian Century Forum (ACF) took place on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 in Seoul. The Forum focused on the current opportunities and challenges of Korea’s increasing outbound investment and strategies for sustainable economic growth. Over 130 participants, including senior executives from Korean and international companies, as well as legal and financial experts, attended the third-annual forum.

The strong won and undervalued overseas assets have prompted Korean companies and investors to step up their growth efforts by investing in Europe, the U.S., and emerging markets. Through its many distinguished speakers, the ACF highlighted that a calculated international investment strategy is critical in order to to raise global profiles, increase sales, create value, secure resources, and garner core competencies.

, head of Paul Hastings’ Seoul office, opened the forum with a welcome address. Commenting on ACF’s successful conclusion, he stated that “given the rising position of the Korean market, it is very meaningful that the Asian Century Forum was hosted here in Seoul—following popular gatherings in Beijing and New York. The event provided useful strategies and other information for engagement with the many Korean companies anticipating global expansion.”

Dr. Il SaKong, chairman and CEO of the Institute for Global Economics, gave the keynote address and emphasized that the biggest challenge the Korean economy is currently facing is further expanding its growth potential. In order to achieve this, Dr. SaKong suggested an increase in labor supply and a relaxing of regulations, while also attracting investment for the capital market and developing an economic model to narrow the production gap between manufacturing and service industries.

Dr. SaKong was followed by a distinguished panel of speakers including DC Choi (Global M&A Center, KOTRA), Michael Hellbeck (Chairman, Standard Chartered Bank Korea), Christopher Sung Wook Khang (President and CEO, GE Korea), and Kevan Watts (Vice Chairman of Global Banking, HSBC). This plenary panel exchanged diverse opinions on domestic challenges, as well as the global outlook and opportunities for South Korean businesses.

After the plenary panel, interactive breakout panel sessions highlighted the focus topics of outbound M&A, capital markets, U.S. litigation, and energy. A full list of speakers is available for viewing at

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Paul Hastings LLP is a leading global law firm with offices in Asia, Europe, and the United States. We provide innovative legal solutions to financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies. Please visit

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