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KOTRA Holds CSR Awards for Foreign-Invested Companies

- BASF, Sanofi Pasteur, MSD and Mitsui & Co. Korea Ltd. received the highest prize
- Foreign-invested companies provide their full support to nurture talent and carry out volunteer and charity activities

Which foreign-invested companies have contributed to our regional society through corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities?

The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA, CEO Young Ho Oh) held the CSR Awards for Foreign-Invested Companies on October 29 at Lotte Hotel World in Seoul. The ceremony was followed by the Opening Ceremony of Foreign Investment Week 2014, hosted and organized by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy and KOTRA. The 10th Foreign Investment Week, the event was held in Seoul and invited investors around the world to introduce them to Korea’s investment environment and its major industries, to encourage cooperation and investment in Korea.

The foreign-invested companies that received the highest award are BASF (Germany, chemicals company), Sanofi Pasteur (France, pharmaceutical company), MSD (the United States, pharmaceutical company) and Mitsui & Co. Korea Ltd. (Japan, general trading company). A total of 14 companies applied for the award via the KOTRA website and four companies were selected for the highest award after a series of evaluations.

The four award winners have been conducting various CSR activities using their own expertise.

BASF, a German chemical company, mainly produces plastics and agricultural and chemical products. BASF, which entered the Korean market in 1954, is now recognized as one of the largest foreign-invested companies in Korea. The chief executive of BASF, Kurt Bock, said BASF’s biggest reason for investing in Korea is the country’s outstanding talent in science. In this regard, BASF not only provides voluntary and charity work, but also supports the nurturing of talent. BASF has operated the BASF Kids' Lab since 2003 to encourage children to experience chemistry. The company has offered scholarship and internship programs since 2009 to discover and nurture outstanding talent.

Sanofi Pasteur, based in France, is the world’s largest vaccine developer and has been running the Helping Hands program in Korea since 2011. The Company provides medical services, including inoculations, to the underprivileged, including the homeless.

MSD is an American pharmaceutical company that produces drugs for high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia and osteoporosis. The employees of MSD have been voluntarily participating in the Love in Action program once a month since 2008. To date, a total of 2,693 employees have spent 8,450 hours volunteering. In particular, the MSD Young Schweitzer Awards is seen as having contributed to the development of Korea’s medical industry.

Despite the strained relationship between Korea and Japan, Mitsui & Co. Korea Ltd. has been carrying out various CSR activities to restore the relationship between the two countries. The company is recognized for its efforts to support students and build friendly relations between the two countries by sponsoring the Korea-Japan Exchange Festival since 2005, the National Japanese Speech Contest since 2008 and the research support program for college students since 2012.

“I hope the Awards will be an opportunity to change the public’s negative perception of foreign-invested companies. The four companies will become exemplary to foreign-invested companies as they carry out various CSR activities in the future,” said Kiwon Han, the Head of Invest Korea, the investment promotion arm of KOTRA.

Source : Invest KOREA (October. 30, 2014)
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