Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi is writing a guest book at Samsung Electronics’ Hwaseong plant in February 2019. [사진=삼성전자 제공]
Following a business trip to the United States, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong went on a wide-ranging move both at home and abroad, from organizational reorganization and personnel renewal to a business trip to the Middle East. Vice Chairman Lee, who is scheduled to return to Korea after finishing his Middle East schedule tomorrow (9th), is expected to handle a hectic schedule such as winning orders for 5G communication and infrastructure-related construction and strengthening the local royal network.
UAE and Saudi Arabia, new markets Samsung should not miss
According to the business world on the 8th, Vice Chairman Lee is reported to be on a business trip to the Middle East to meet with high-level officials from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and discuss 5G-related cooperation plans. The UAE aims to achieve 5G coverage for 90% of the country’s population within this year. Therefore, it is expected that there will be talks about further cooperation on follow-up investment and network advancement.
Earlier, on the 6th, Vice Chairman Lee left the country immediately after the trial on charges of unfair merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries and Samsung Biologics’ accounting fraud ended. Vice Chairman Lee’s trial was normally held every Thursday, but this week it was held on Monday due to the court’s circumstances. As a result, he had 10 days of free time until the 16th, the next trial date, and headed to the Middle East without hesitation.
Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong visited the subway construction site in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which was under construction by Samsung C&T in September 2019 [사진=삼성전자]
The UAE is facing an opportunity to expand the 5G market for Samsung Electronics as the US government demands the removal of Huawei’s telecommunication equipment in China. As Chinese manufacturers are focusing their efforts on targeting the UAE as a key bridgehead for the ‘One Belt, One Road’ Middle East expansion, analysts believe that Vice Chairman Lee’s visit to the Middle East will be a turning point. In addition, it is highly likely that discussions will take place on the 2nd of last month regarding the Samsung C&T construction division’s agreement to closely cooperate in the fields of energy, urban and infrastructure development in line with Saudi Arabia’s national innovation strategy.
This is not the first time Lee Jae-yong’s ‘Efforts to make a country in the Middle East’
Most of the reactions of Vice Chairman Lee’s business trip to the Middle East were unexpected. Despite this, it is said that the reason Vice Chairman Lee hastily visited the Middle East is to expand exchanges with Middle Eastern countries that are trying to foster cutting-edge manufacturing in the era of the 4th industrial revolution and to explore new markets. Reducing dependence on oil is a national task for major Middle Eastern countries, and the UAE plans to increase the proportion of new industries’ gross domestic product (GDP) from 10% to 25% by 2025. To this end, the UAE is actively fostering new industries such as high-tech manufacturing, renewable energy, medical care, education, and finance. These are all areas that Samsung is good at.
Vice Chairman Lee met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi in February 2019 in Abu Dhabi, UAE to discuss ways to expand cooperation in 5G and information technology (IT) future business areas, etc. . He invited Crown Prince Bin Zayed, who visited Korea soon after, to Samsung Electronics’ Hwaseong plant to demonstrate 5G communication and introduce a smart factory incorporating cutting-edge technology.
At the time, Crown Prince bin Zayed said, “I was deeply impressed by the innovation and the latest technology being done here (Samsung Electronics) to improve the quality of life for mankind. I support you,” he wrote in the guestbook.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud visits South Korea in June 2019 [사진=연합뉴스]
Vice Chairman Lee invited Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, who visited Korea in June 2019, as Seung Ji-won to discuss ways to cooperate in future growth industries. Seung Ji-won is a place where the late Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee inherited the residence of former Chairman Lee Byung-cheol in 1987 and used it as an office and guesthouse. It was interpreted as a meaningful meeting.
In September of the same year, Vice Chairman Lee went on a business trip to Saudi Arabia to personally inspect the Riyadh subway construction site under construction by Samsung C&T and meet Crown Prince bin Salman. Vice Chairman Lee met with Crown Prince bin Salman on site and exchanged opinions on cooperation in a wide range of fields, including technology, industry, construction, energy, and smart cities in Saudi Arabia.
Vice Chairman Lee continued to emphasize the importance of the Middle East region. In June 2019, he visited Samsung C&T’s Sangil-dong headquarters and held a meeting with executives, saying, “We need to find areas where Samsung can do well in the future industry in the Middle East and respond quickly.” We have to break the mold.”
In the same year, during the Chuseok holiday, Vice Chairman Lee visited the construction site of a subway construction site in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which was under construction by Samsung C&T, and said, “I am very grateful and proud of all of you who are silently guarding the site without spending the Chuseok holiday with your family.” While pursuing the project, it is becoming a land of new opportunities in the 21st century. The drops of sweat you shed will lead this new opportunity to the precious fruit of tomorrow.”
High possibility of overseas business trip immediately following the Middle East
Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong visited Samsung C&T’s Sangil-dong headquarters in June 2019, held a meeting with executives and had a meal at the cafeteria [사진=삼성물산 블라인드]
Vice-Chairman Lee’s business trip to the Middle East is interpreted as conveying a desperate awareness that he must no longer be left behind in the increasingly fierce global competition. Vice Chairman Lee, who left for a business trip to North America last month, said on his way home, “It is heavy on my heart to see the harsh voices of the field and the harsh reality of the market.” This business trip is also read as a result of such a strict perception of reality.
Therefore, there are speculations that Vice Chairman Lee will visit overseas again using the two-week winter break of the Seoul Central District Court from the end of this month to the beginning of next year. Vice-President Lee appears in court on the 23rd of this month and does not have to appear in court for 20 days until January 13th next year. An official from the business community said, “It is expected that Vice Chairman Lee will use the trial blank to visit overseas and restore the global network.”
Due to the recent spread of ‘Omicron’, a new mutant virus for COVID-19 (coronavirus), foreign travelers must self-quarantine for 10 days, but Vice Chairman Lee falls under ‘Essential personnel of companies such as executives,’ so self-quarantine may be exempted. have.
An official from the business community said, “I think that the most urgent thing for Vice Chairman Lee to judge is the restoration of overseas networks.” He said, “The intention is to discover future food by expanding skinship with Middle Eastern countries that are pushing for a new leap in the 4th industrial revolution.” .
He continued, “Many smart new cities will be built in the Middle East in the future, but if we build a local royal network from now on, we will be able to smoothly receive orders for infrastructure construction and help sell mobile and home appliances. If you build trust well, you can become a ‘goose that lays golden eggs’.”
Reporter Kang Kyung-joo, Hankyung.com email@example.com