The Korea Herald


SK chief headed to Germany, Spain to bolster ties

By Jo He-rim

Published : Feb. 13, 2024 - 16:55

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SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won is briefed on the SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won is briefed on the "AI Fortune Teller" feature at the group's exhibition booth at CES 2024 in Las Vegas on Jan. 10. (Yonhap)

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won is expected to travel to Germany next week, joining an economic delegation as the head of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, according to industry sources, Tuesday.

Chey will be traveling to Berlin on Feb. 19 to take part in various business forums and gatherings, where business and government officials from Korea and Germany are expected to discuss strengthening collaborative efforts. Chey is also expected to travel to Barcelona, Spain, to attend a global IT show, the MWC Barcelona, from Feb. 26 to Feb 29.

Among the chiefs of the country's top four conglomerate groups -- Samsung, SK, Hyundai and LG -- Chey is reportedly the only one joining the economic delegation, taking part as the head of the KCCI.

In 2023, Chey and the top conglomerate chiefs embarked on a number of overseas business trips as members of the economic delegation accompanying President Yoon Suk Yeol on his state visits.

According to industry sources, the economic delegation plans to join several forums and gatherings to create networking opportunities for participating businesses. Considering that Germany is home to the world's leading automakers and auto parts manufacturers, the economic delegation is expected to discuss possible collaboration and business deals in the automotive industry.

Chey will participate in the MWC Barcelona, one of the world's largest gatherings in the mobile industry, for the second time after his attendance last year.

As SK Telecom launched the Global Telco AI Alliance with three other major global telcos, Deutsche Telekom, e& and Singtel, in July 2023 to accelerate AI transformation of the existing telco business, Chey is expected to meet the leaders of the companies there.

The four telcos launched the alliance to develop new growth drivers through new AI-powered business models. SK Telecom Chief Executive Officer Yoo Young-sang will be accompanying Chey in the show specializing in mobile connectivity.

At this year’s MWC, some 85,000 visitors are expected, associated with more than 2,000 companies from nearly 200 countries and territories around the world.

In the SK CEO Seminar held in Paris in October, Chey highlighted the need to expand the group's global infrastructure to foster "synergies" utilizing the networks between each of its affiliates and governments around the world.

In December, Chey also visited the US headquarters of SK hynix located in San Jose, California, and its affiliates, including Gauss Labs, an industrial AI startup, and Lunar Energy, an energy firm, to inspect business operations there.

"Starting the end of last year, Chey has been traveling to countries to reinforce the global networks he forged in the past two years," an SK official said. "He will continue to inspect the group affiliates' global business sites for key businesses such as semiconductors, AI and future energy, to accelerate growth in those fields.