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President Moon’s Opening Remarks at the Site Visit to Exemplary Food Companies

< President Moon Jae-in’s opening remarks at the site visit to exemplary food manufacturers>

 

Nice to meet all of you! I’ve heard the good news about the large investment in Harim Plant and wanted to come here to offer my congratulations and share a few words of encouragement.

Two years ago, the Hyundai Heavy Industries Gunsan Shipyard was closed in Jeonbuk, and last year, the GM plant was shut down, which caused significant economic difficulty to this region. That’s why I must thank Hong-guk Kim, CEO of Harim, who made a bold, much needed investment at this time. I applaud all the employees for making possible this investment with their hard work.

 

Unlike other major companies, Harim has its headquarters in Iksan, a small city with a population of less than 300,000. Despite severe concentration of enterprises on the capital area, you expanded the headquarters in this small city and set a good example for promoting balanced national development.

Furthermore, you have decided to invest 880 billion won in this area by 2024. It is such an extraordinary decision for a private company to make a bold, preemptive investment in the food industry, a key industry in Jeonbuk, especially, in these economically tough times.

This investment will contribute to revitalizing the local economy with the creation of 2,000 new jobs. I believe that your love and passion for the food industry has come to fruition in the form of major investment in times of difficulty.

 

In recent years, the food industry has been growing significantly, especially in high value-added areas such as HMR (home meal replacement) and pet food. Smart livestock and processing using ICT technology keeps growing as well. Regarding such innovation in the food industry, Harim plays an important role in all areas including feed, livestock, processing, manufacturing and distribution.

 

The local government has actively responded also. Jeonbuk has made diligent efforts to develop the food industry from early on, and Iksan’s ‘Korea National Food Cluster’ has developed as a hub for innovation-driven growth of the food industry, connecting R&D agencies with related enterprises.

 

Agriculture-related public organizations have moved to Jeonju Innovative City, and ‘Asia Smart Agricultural Science Valley’ is being created throughout Jeonju. Particularly this month the Saemangeum Industrial Complex was converted from a general complex to a national industrial complex with increased support for attracting corporate investment.

 

I’ve heard that Harim is planning new business based on a contract with the National Food Cluster in Iksan. We expect more companies to invest actively in this area. As I meet you in person at this plant in Iksan, I can imagine how hard you have worked to make all this possible.

 

Korea has been able to turn a crisis into an opportunity thanks to such hard-working people who willingly accepted the challenge for innovation. We look forward to your continued efforts for co-prosperity as well as dealing with local issues such as prevention of livestock disease and improvement of livestock hygiene.

 

Congratulations again on this new investment in the Iksan factory. I’m sure that this will contribute to revitalizing the food industry and also the Korean economy as a whole.

 

(Source: ​NEWSIS https://bit.ly/2lAhsiV)

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