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Samsung Chairman Lee calls for preparation for new century with new businesses and products
Chairman Lee Kun-hee of Samsung Group.
Chairman Lee Kun-hee of Samsung Group said the group will focus on three major objectives this year. In his address at the group's New Year ceremony, he said investment and employment will increase this year from last year, with a stress on training talented staff and a mutual survival strategy with SMEs.
It was the group's first New Year's gathering since 2007 due to a special prosecutor's investigation into the group's financial dealings. The group's total investment this year is likely to amount to more than 43 trillion won, topping the 27.8 trillion won invested by the group in 2008 and the 26.5 trillion won in 2009.
Just before the ceremony, he told reporters that this is the initial year for Samsung's new decade and the company must go deeper, wider and work harder through investing more and hiring more.
The chairman continued on to say that there has been talk that this year would be tough on every business sector, but there is no reason to be scared.
"The coming decade will be a challenging period on our way to move ahead," Lee said. "Let Samsung be a leading business group in the 21st century, continuing with its growth unshaken, and let the entire Samsung family feel comfortable and focus on our business targets."
The chairman's second subject in his speech was future growth engines and nurturing talented employees. For future growth engines, he was referring to fuel-cell batteries, healthcare, the bio industry and others, all told five industries that the group selected last year as the new growth engines that will be pushed this year.
Asked to comment on plans to make Samsung a more creative and innovative conglomerate, he said it would differ by country and business firm, but Samsung would like to nurture a large pool of talented personnel. He said he would like to train as many people as possible and let them make contributions to society and Samsung.
Regarding what Samsung will look like in the future, the chairman said he would like to see a circulatory business structure, as the major products that represent the group will disappear in 10 years and there will be new businesses and products to replace them. He said Samsung would seek open innovation in tie-ups with other firms if the company is to upgrade its brand value and make human life more affluent. The chairman stressed mutual survival and companionship.
"President Lee Myung-bak called for mutual survival among large firms and SMEs, but I brought it up two decades ago,O he said. OThe matter is not only for businesses, but also for the Korean economy in general. Helping poor SMEs is to help large businesses themselves."
"Samsung should be a companion to shareholders, customers and cooperative firms, with every party concerned, it should be a social companion. In particular, Samsung should give more help to strong cooperative firms so they will grow stronger.
"Donation and social services are forces that hold society together and we should make society warmer and healthier with services backed up with know-how," Lee said. The chairman was thought to have made that statement in consideration of the high public expectation of the Samsung as a global corporation.
Among the participants at the ceremony were his son Jae-yong, president of Samsung Electronics and two daughters; President Kim Soon-taek, head of the group's future strategy office; Vice Chairman Choi Ji-sung of Samsung Electronics; and heads of affiliates located in the Seoul area, among some 1,200 participants.nw