and Tasks Ahead
Steel industry celebrates Iron Day with resolve for globalization and quality upgrading
The Korea Iron and Steel Association(KISA) held a ceremony to observe the 9th Iron Day at POSCO Center in Seoul June 9 with over 300 people in the industry and related government agencies attending led by Vice Minister Rim Chemin of the Ministry of Knowledge and Economy. The government cited 24 steel company executives past and present for their contribution to the growth of the steel industry.
Among the dignitaries present at the ceremony were POSCO President Yoon Sok-man, Chairman of Dongkuk Steel Mill Chang Sae-joo, President Lee Soo-il of Dongbu Steel, Vice Chairman Kim Won-kap of Hyundai Hysco, Chairman Lee Woon-hyung of SeAh Steel, and Chairman Hong Young-chol of Koryo Steel and others.
Chairman Lee Ku-taek of the association in his congratulatory speech, recalled that Iron Day was first designated to commemorate the excitement on the day when the nation first had molted iron flow out of the modern blast furnace from a steel mill in the country.
The chairman who also is chairman of POSCO, the largest blast-furnace steel maker in the country and the 5th largest in the world, continued that the steel industry made a steady progress last year despite many difficulties with crude steel output totaling 50 million tons and moving a step up in the ladder of product quality. As is widely known, steel is a vital element to boost the economic growth and locomotive and as a result of every steel man doing his job well, the core part of the economy such as automobile, shipbuilding and home appliance industries have done well on the world stage.
On that point, I as a steel man feel unlimited pride and at the same time a heavy responsibility. We are in the age of challenge and creativity and in that sense, we at the steel industry should enhance our global leadership.
He said we have to globalize our production bases and strengthen product quality on world level, along with an advancement in our distribution channels on the same level as our globalized production bases.
The chairman said the steel industry has to look for its markets abroad, now that the domestic steel market is saturated and he feels that southeast Asian countries offer good opportunities to be a new growth base for our steel production facilities. The steel association said its survey found out that total steel production would reach 70 million tons in 2010. The output would reach 62 billion tons next year and 70.53 million tons in 2010, the 50th year since the country launched steel production. The steel industry will invest some 7.4 trillion won in facilities this year sharing 14.2 percent of total industrial investment, the largest next to the IT industry's 19 percent of the total. The steel industry accounted for 2.3 percent of GDP, 5.2 percent of exports, and 2.6 percent of total employment in the country last year, as a core sector of the economy.
Among those who were cited for their contribution to the steel industry included Lee Yoon, standing director of POSCO, Chairman Ryu Chang-mok of Hankum Co. who received the Industrial Merit Silver Medal. Vice Chairman Nam Yoon-young got the Industrial Citation. KISA designed June 9 as Iron Day on June 9, 2000 to commemorate the first production of crude steel with a modern blast-furnace so that the crucial importance of the steel industry may be known across the country and at the same time to unite 'iron people'and boost their pride in the industry every year. nw
Leaders of the steel industry pose for a photo session during the Iron Day ceremony at POSCO Center in Seoul June 9. They (from left) include KISA Vice Chairman Shim Yoon-soo, TCCsteel Chairman B.R. Sohn, Kiswire Chairman Hong Young-chul, Dongsbu Steel CEO Lee Soo-il, POSCO Chairman Lee Ku-taek, Vice Minister for Industry and Technology Rim Chemin, Dongkuk Steel Chairman Chang Sae-joo, and SeAH Steel Chairman Lee Woon-hyung.
POSCO Chairman Lee Ku-taek