Yoon snubs biz community by skipping industry events in NY

By Park Jae-hyuk pjh@koreatimes.co.kr



The Korea Times Co.



Korean and U.S. businesspeople looking forward to meeting President Yoon Suk-yeol in New York ended up being disappointed when the presidential office canceled Yoon’s appearances at their events at the last minute, according to industry officials, Thursday. Yoon initially planned to deliver a keynote speech on Wednesday (local time) for the Korea-U.S. Startup Summit at Pier 17 in New York. Other attendees there included: SMEs and Startups Minister Lee Young, Google Vice President Karan Bhatia, Oracle Senior Vice President Dave Rosenberg, Hyundai Motor President Kong Young-woon, Naver Cloud Platform CEO Park Weon-gi and RPS Ventures Managing Partner Kabir Misra. The event was mainly intended for the state-run Korea Venture Investment Corp. and three U.S. venture capital firms to announce promises to raise a combined $215 million to help Korean startups enter overseas markets. At the event, Yoon was also supposed to visit a booth set up jointly by startups and three large businesses — Google, Hyundai Motor and Naver. The Korean and U.S. executives, along with journalists, reportedly waited for more than two hours for the president to arrive. The presidential office, however, after postponing Yoon’s arrival time twice, ultimately canceled his visit, due to his participation in the Global Fund’s seventh replenishment conference, where he had a 48-second encounter with U.S. President Joe Biden. Yoon also abruptly canceled his visit to the Korea Brand Expo held at the same venue by the SMEs ministry for Lotte’s six retail units to help 120 Korean SMEs connect with overseas buyers. The participants in the event are said to have stood waiting in front of their companies’ respective booths for the president to arrive. According to industry officials, Lotte and the ministry went all out for the event, asking the participants and journalists to keep the president’s visit confidential. However, the presidential office notified them of the cancellation of Yoon’s visit at the last moment.