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French chamber opens
French chamber opens new, largest-ever office in Seoul
The French Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (FKCCI) new, third office that has just opened is the largest since 1986.

The 400-square-meter office on the fifth floor of Nobel Building in Daechi-dong, southern Seoul, is twice the size 먹튀검증업체 of the second office in Yeoksam-dong, also in southern Seoul.

The FKCCI will host various activities ranging from networking events to seminars, products showcase and video and photo shootings.

To keep up with its record 375 member companies, the chamber's new home also has a business center with a capacity of 40 seats that can offer administrative support, such as marking expertise and business matchmaking.

It can invite up to 80 members at once.
FKCCI Chairman David-Pierre Jalicon delivers a speech during the chamber's annual general meeting before its inauguration ceremony in Daechi-dong, southern Seoul, Feb. 10. / FKCCI

The FKCCI has a business center with a capacity of 40 seats that can offer administrative support, such as marking expertise and business matchmaking. / FKCCI

Against this backdrop, FKCCI Chairman David-Pierre Jalicon referred to the new office as a "maison" ― the French word for house ― for many French business people working far from home.

"This is a milestone for us to be able to welcome our members and the French-Korean community in our own premises," Jalicon said in his celebratory speech for the opening of the office on Feb. 10.

The ceremony drew more than 100 guests, including French Ambassador to Korea Philippe Lefort. This was the first mass gathering held at a chamber's office, according to the FKCCI. It was preceded by an annual general meeting at which new board members were elected.

Jalicon said the inauguration of the office was based on "remarkable results" in 2019 when the chamber elected General Director Cedric Legrand and its members increased by 25 to 375.

The French Embassy in Korea arranged at least four ministerial visits from Paris to Seoul to strengthen the partnership in conventional, innovation and digital industries.

"This growth is essential to support our development; without it we could not welcome you in these new premises," Jalicon added.

The chairman said the Feb. 10 ceremony should not be viewed as mere office renovation but the opening of a new era for the chamber.

Accordingly, he shared the FKCCI's 2020 plans to bolster the bilateral economic partnership, such as new forums based on sectorial committees, publication of a new newsletter "Coree Affaires Express" and jump-starting a five-year business plan to maintain 50 percent annual growth.

French Ambassador to Korea Philippe Lefort gives a congratulatory speech during the opening of the FKCCI's new office in Daechi-dong, southern Seoul, Feb. 10. / FKCCI

In a separate speech, Ambassador Lefort lauded the FKCCI for its "major roles" in representing French interests in Korea and congratulated the chamber on its new office.

"The FKCCI is fully integrated into the 'France team' to support our export companies. I particularly welcome the exemplary cooperation between the chamber and the embassy's Economic Service and Business France," Lefort said.

He expressed hope that 2020 would be a year of realization of the many projects between French and Korean companies.
"For its part, the embassy is continuing its efforts to mobilize our authorities on the challenges of our relations with Korea, in particular with regard to the economy and innovation," he said.

Guests wait for the opening ceremony of the FKCCI to begin at its new office in Daechi-dong, southern Seoul, Feb. 10. / FKCCI

The chamber consists of French and Korean companies in a wide range of fields, including finance, banking, technology, hotel, cosmetics and legal services.

They include Novotel Ambassador, Air France, BNP Paribas, Cartier, L'Oreal, Michelin and Shinhan Bank.
The chamber consists of French and Korean companies in a wide range of fields, including finance, industry, banking, technology, hotel, cosmetics and legal services.

They include Novotel Ambassador, Air France, BNP Paribas, Thales, Cartier, L'Oreal, Michelin and Shinhan Bank.

The FKCCI first opened in Jangchung-dong and moved to southern Seoul, with a growing need to cooperate with Korean high-technology companies, many of them in southern Seoul, among other strategic reasons.

Arriving in Korea in 1996, Jalicon, an architect, has pioneered the French-Korean business community.

He founded architectural firm DPJ & Partners, which designed some of Seoul's most impressive architecture. Among them are the Aqua-Art Bridge near the Seoul Art Center, the French School in Seorae Village, all in southern Seoul, and the Embassy of Oman in downtown Seoul.

In recognition of his contribution to French-Korea relations, he was named an honorary Seoul citizen in 2006 and received the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur from the French government in 2018.

He has been the FKCCI chairman since 2011.
French chamber opens
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French chamber opens

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