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Komsco to hold global forum on future of mints industry

South Korea will bring together the world’s 46 manufacturers of coins, medals and banknotes this week to discuss the future of the minting industry amid the emergence of new technologies across the globe.

The state-run coin and bank note manufacturer, Korea Minting and Security Printing & ID Card Operating Corp. (Komsco), will host the biannual Mint Directors Conference from Monday to Thursday, the organizers said Sunday. The upcoming event will mark the 30th of its kind and the second to be held in Seoul. 

The Mint Directors Conference held in Seoul in 2008 (Komsco)
The Mint Directors Conference held in Seoul in 2008 (Komsco)
Some 300 dignitaries and officials from 46 mints in 42 member nations are expected to attend sessions for the event. The list includes chief executives of mints from Australia, Austria, the United States, Germany, France, China, Thailand and South Africa, according to Komsco.

Held every second year since 1962, the MDC has served as a communication platform to bring mints across the globe together.

From Monday through Thursday, the MDC is scheduled to hold 10 presentations on the advancement of related technologies and marketing strategies at Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas.

On Tuesday morning, Komsco will showcase its newest bullion medals, including Silver Chiwoo Cheonwang medals and Silver Korean Tiger medals. A bullion medal refers to tradable means of investment, whose value defined by purity and mass, like a gold bar.

Discussion topics also include ways to enhance security in minting and a payment system in the future, organizers said.

Mints will also compete for their coin design and underlying technology of coin production, as well as the covers for the packaging the coins, they added.

Komsco will vie for the coin-making competition held from Monday to Tuesday with its commemorative coins for the PyeongChang Winter Games.

According to the Komsco, the Korean mint has submitted the following three -- a 30,000 won ($28) gold coin depicting Koreans playing a folk game “jwibulnori,” a 5,000 won silver coin portraying a female figure skater and a 1,000 won brass coin containing a picture of the Winter Games mascot Soohorang. 

From left: A 30,000 won Olympic commemorative gold coin depicts a Korean folk game
From left: A 30,000 won Olympic commemorative gold coin depicts a Korean folk game "jwibulnori," a 5,000 won Olympic commemorative silver coin depicts a figure skater, and a 1,000 won Olympic commemorative brass coin depicts a mascot Soohorang. (Komsco)
On Wednesday, the Komsco plans to take some 250 participants to its headquarters and production facilities located in Daejeon, some 140 kilometers south of Seoul.

Aside from the sessions, promotional booths will be installed from seven mints, including two Korean mints -- the state-run Komsco and Poongsan, a private company.

Upon the start of the conference, Korea will chair the Council of the MDC from 2018 to 2020. During the Council’s meeting on Monday and Tuesday, the hosting nation of the 2022 event will be determined.

Thailand hosted the conference two years ago, with South Africa is planning to host the event in 2020.

The Komsco is Korea‘s oldest state-run corporation, founded in 1951. The company mints or prints 1,000 won, 5,000 won 10,000 won and 50,000 won banknotes, 10 won, 50 won, 100 won and 500 won coins, as well as checks, stamps and passports. The company has been led by chief executive Cho Yong-man, formerly a career technocrat, since January 2018. 

Komsco CEO Cho Yong-man (Komsco)
Komsco CEO Cho Yong-man (Komsco)
By Son Ji-hyoung