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Samsung heir visits provincial startup centers

According to Yonhap News,

(SEOUL/DAEGU=Yonhap News) Lee Jae-yong, the heir apparent of South Korea's top conglomerate Samsung Group, visited two startup support centers in the southeastern part of the country Tuesday, marking his first public appearance after last week's key shareholder vote on the merger of two group units.


Lee visited the so-called innovation centers in Gumi, 261 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and Daegu, some 300 kilometers from the capital city. The two centers were opened in December and September last year, respectively.

Samsung said Lee inspected the overall facilities and discussed ways to support the two centers.

"Nothing is easy when it comes to operating a business. I believe there will be good results if corporations, the government, and regional authorities act in unison and put forward visions in the face of an uncertain future," Lee said.

"I will try my best so that Gumi, Daegu, and South Korea as a whole can move in the right direction," he added.

Samsung has been providing education and various programs to startups in the Daegu center, including opportunities to acquire investment.

The center in Gumi also plans to share factory management know-how with local firms, with Samsung planning to assist 400 small and medium-sized factories by 2017 in adopting the latest technologies, including the Internet of Things.

The innovation centers are part of the Park Geun-hye administration's drive to nurture local startups and venture firms with the assistance of Samsung Group and other conglomerates. The move came in line with Park's flagship policy dubbed "the creative economy."

The junior Lee's public appearance came after shareholders of Samsung C&T Corp. and its sister firm Cheil Industries Inc. approved the merger between the two last week. The move is expected to speed up Samsung's leadership transfer to Jae-yong, the son of the group's patriarch Lee Kun-hee, who has been bedridden for more than a year after a heart attack.

Jae-yong has been making several moves to make up for his father's vacancy, including making a public apology last month over a massive outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) at a group hospital. Samsung Medical Center in southern Seoul has been blamed as a major source of infections.

He was also appointed to take the helm of the Samsung Life Public Welfare Foundation and the Samsung Foundation of Culture, the group's key foundations, taking the posts from his hospitalized father.

Copyrights Yonhap News. All Rights Reserved.

Source Text

Source: Yonhap News (Jul. 21, 2015)