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April 2024

AICA and Autopromotec team up with the Emilia-Romagna Region in Seoul

Paola Zaccheroni

The goal: to strengthen technological relations and commercial trade

From 24 to 29 March, the Emilia-Romagna Region had a busy schedule of activities in South Korea, in cooperation with the Italian Embassy, the Chamber of Commerce, the Italian Institute of Culture and Enit Seoul. Headed by President Stefano Bonaccini with Councillor for Economic Development and International Relations Vincenzo Colla, the mission represents the first step towards building new institutional, economic, industrial, and social relations, in recognition of the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Italy and South Korea as well as the agreements signed by the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella during his official visit last November.

Representing AICA and Autopromotec, the delegation was joined by Francesca Paoli, vice-president, and Paola Zaccheroni, public affairs manager, to meet with leading companies in the fields of automotive and aerospace, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing.

The meetings focused on advanced technologies and big data, with visits to leading institutions such as the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and the National Supercomputing Centre. The delegation also visited the Naver Corporation, South Korea's leading search engine, the Incheon Technopark and the Daejeon Technopark. At the Korea Aerospace Industry Association, the subject of the space economy was addressed, as it is strategic in terms of the spin-offs that research in this sector can have on expanding the markets of the Emilia-Romagna production chains and is already the focus of missions to Japan, Washington and Houston.

In the more strictly automotive sphere, President Bonaccini and Councillor Colla were able to showcase our Motor Valley to the Hyundai Group, a pioneer in electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles that, with its Hyundai and Kia brands, controls not only the car market but also the car repair market.

The meeting with KAMA, the Korean Automobile & Mobility Association, was of strategic importance because, together with the associations KAIDA (import vehicles) and KAICA (components), this association represents the industry's main reference. KAMA organises the Seoul Mobility Show and H2MEET, a globally significant hydrogen-focused event.

The AICA representatives also met with K-BIA, the only national association of battery manufacturers and organisers of the Interbattery and EV Trends events, and CASCAR, the government organisation managing MOT testing centres with 170 direct workshops and 1600 authorised workshops.

“We want to consolidate our presence” - said Bonaccini and Colla - “because all the conditions are here for our commercial, industrial and research system, particularly in terms of technology, to find new outlets for collaboration: big data, innovation, artificial intelligence, aerospace, automotive. And on the horizon is Expo 2025, scheduled to take place in Osaka next year and something Emilia-Romagna is already working on, which represents a strategic opportunity due to its geographical and economic proximity”.

South Korea is one of the world's most innovative economies, the fifth largest OECD country in terms of scientific and technological capabilities, with investments in research and development amounting to 5% of GDP. In terms of exports to this country, Italy ranks (June 2023 data) second in Europe, after Germany, with a value of over EUR 3.3 billion, with Emilia-Romagna as the second most important Italian region with a share of 13.8%. Trade is also growing: USD 13.5 billion in 2022 (+7%).

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