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General News
In November, the Chamber actively involved in facilitating dialogues with the Korean and European governments. The highlights include the President's meeting with the OECD Korea team.
ECCK Meeting with OECD
November 29, 2021
ECCK president Christoph Heider had a meeting with the OECD Korea team on November 26 to discuss the Korea’s business environment, labour market, some environmental issues such as ESG, etc.
The meeting was attended by 4 personnel from the OECD Economics Department; Dr. Vincent Koen, Country Studies Division Chief, Mr. Jon Pareliussen, Head of Korea/ Sweden desk, Mr. Jinwoan Beom, Economist of Korea/ Sweden desk and Hyunjeong Hwang, Economist of Korea/Sweden desk. Dr. Tony Michell, Managing Director of Korea Associates Business Consulting (KABC) also joined the meeting to further discuss the partnership between the joined parties.
ECCK President Meets EFTA Secretary General Henri Gétaz
November 8, 2021
On November 6, the ECCK President Christoph Heider met with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Secretary General Henri Gétaz to discuss the EFTA-Korea free trade relations and the perspective of the Korean economy.
To briefly introduce, EFTA is an intergovernmental organisation founded by the Stockholm Convention in 1960 with the mission of promoting free trade and economic integration to benefits its members – Iceland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
ECCK Participates in Invest Korea Week 2021
November 8, 2021
On November 3, ECCK Chairperson Dirk Lukat participated in the Invest Korea Week 2021, Hosted by Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and organized by Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and Arirang TV.
Held under the theme of “Innovative and sustainable business”, the annual event discussed the potential of South Korea becoming an attractive market for foreign direct investment.
During the panel discussion session, when asked of positive aspects of doing business in Korea, Lukat stated “Korea is a very developed country, also in terms of economy and it is constantly growing. Last year, even with the pandemic which hit us the hardest, there was a small decline but if you compare that to other developed countries, it was actually not that severe. In 2021, we are predicting a 4% GDP growth, which is a positive growth element for a developed country.”
[Full Panel Discussion Session]
[ECCK Chairperson Dirk Lukat’s News Interview]
ECCK Meets the New Secretary General of WeGO
November 29, 2021
On November 26, ECCK President Christoph Heider paid a visit to Ms. Jung Sook Park, newly appointed Secretary General of WeGo.

During his visit, President Heider delivered warm words on Ms. Park’s inauguration and discussed mutual cooperation plans for ECCK and WeGo during her tenure.
The ECCK looks forward to a strengthened partnership with WeGo in the future!
ECCK Attends Foreign Investment Advisory Council Roundtable Meeting
November 16, 2021
On November 16, the ECCK President Christoph Heider attended the Foreign Investment Advisory Council (FIAC) meeting hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy at the Westin Chosun Hotel.
Attended by Minister for Trade Yeo Han-koo and other representatives of foreign chambers, the members discussed regulations within major fields such as new and renewable energy certification and improvement of the investment environment through deregulation as well as investment plans for carbon-neutrality.
Survey on the Severe Accident Punishment Act
November 29, 2021
The Korea Enterprises Foundation (KEF) is to conduct a survey regarding the Severe Accident Punishment Act(effective from January 2022) in partnership with Chosun Ilbo. The ECCK would like to kindly ask our members for their inputs on this survey.
< Purpose of Survey >
  • The Severe Accident Punishment Act (SAPA), which imposes strong criminal punishment (one or more years imprisonment or fines up to KRW 1 billion) on business owners and responsible management managers for severe industrial accidents, will take effect next year (January 27, 2022).
  • Foreign-invested businesses in Korea are increasingly concerned about the recent elevation of industrial safety-related risks in Korea.
  • Against this backdrop, the KEF intends to identify difficulties facing those businesses stemming from SAPA implementation and utilize them for its media promotion and policy proposals.
<Survey Details>
  • The survey is in compliance with Article 33 (Protection of Secrets) and 34 (Duty of Statistics Staff, etc.) of the Statistics Act.
  • Period: November 26 (Fri.) ~ December 3 (Fri.), 2021 (8 days)
  • Questionnaire for the Survey: CLICK HERE
  • How to reply: : (E-mail) / (Fax) 02-3270-7444
  • Contact: (Industrial Safety Team, the Korea Enterprises Federation) 02-3270-7453, 738
Global Alternative Investment Insights (GAII 2021): A Great Success!
November 11, 2021
The Global Alternative Investment Insights (GAII 2021), jointly held by the ECCK and Maekyung Media Group on November 9, finished a great success. Held under the theme of ‘Alternative Investment in the Post Corona Era: Opportunity and Threat’, GAII 2021 was joined by over 250 leading persons in the field of alternative investment both physically and virtually. The ECCK would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who supported the event.
To learn more about the event, please go to
ECCK Attends the 2021 Korea Times Global ESG Forum
November 1, 2021
On October 29, ECCK president Christoph Heider particiated in the 2021 Korea Times Global ESG Forum held at the Grand Hall of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) headquarters in Seoul.
During the event which was attended by distinguished individuals from various industries, participants were given an opportunity to talk about ESG issues and tactics to siutably promote them in business settings and principles.
Following the opening remarks and speech by Korea Times Chairman, Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Governor and KIC CEO, panel discussion sessions were held, where discussions were made under the topic of ‘Global Investors’ ESG Investment Principles’.
ECCK CFO Forum on Digital Transformation in Finance
November 3, 2021
On November 2, the ECCK held a CFO Forum under the topic of ‘Digital Transformation in Finance – case studies beyond the buzz words’ at The Executive Centre.
The session was presented by two speakers Yan Uhl, CFO Korea and Representative Director of SAP and Torsten Berger, CFO & Vice President at Vitesco Technologies Korea, where they shared their first-hand experience and valuable insight with Digital Finance Transformation.

During the session, Mr. Uhl facilitated a discussion by depicting increased expectations towards finance and shared details about the ongoing Digital Finance Transformation at SAP before focusing on the new role of the CFO and Finance in general.

Mr. Berger provided real-life examples from Vitesco in Korea and demonstrated how even from afar, a local subsidiary can trigger change on a headquarter level.
Held in hybrid format, the forum was attended by over 20 CFOs both physically and virtually. We would like to send our immense gratitude to two speakers for the informative sessions, our member ‘The Executive Centre’ for venue support and all the participants for joining the forum.
For more information on ECCK’s CFO Forum, please check: ECCK CFO Forum Invites CFOs of ECCK Member Companies.
ECCK Co-hosts the 2021 Maritime Conference
November 15, 2021
On November 11, ECCK co-hosted a private maritime event under the title “2021 Maritime Conference” at Hilton Busan together with Royal Norwegian Embassy in Seoul, Innovation Norway, NBA, and Busan Metropolitan City.
The key objective of the event was to engage a partnership between Europe-Norway and the Republic of Korea in the maritime industry. Therefore, during this private event, 49 key stakeholders in the maritime industry had an opportunity to share valuable insights, innovative ideas and solutions.
The conference was opened by Norwegian Ambassador to Korea, Frode Solberg and welcomed by Mr. Dirk Lukat, the ECCK Chairperson. Then, under the theme “Green and Smart Shipping”, first keynote speech was kicked off by Mr. Won Ho Joo, CTO of Hyundai Heavy Industry (HHI) followed by a presentation delivered by Mr. Tommy Rasmussen, President of MAN Energy Solutions Korea under the topic “Decarbonization”.
Subsequently, the second keynote speech was delivered by Mr. Ørnulf Rødseth, Senior Scientist of SINTEF Ocean also followed by a presentation by Mr. Seunghyeon (Stanley) Yoo, Research Engineer / Digitalization Expert at DNV under the topic “Digitalization”. This first session was concluded with a panel discussion with the speakers and moderated by Mr. Andreas Kristoffersen, Chairperson of NBA.
The second session was re-opened by Mr. Yunil Kim, the Vice Mayor for Economic Affairs of the Busan Metropolitan Gov. which was followed by a short introduction of Busan City delivered by Ms. Nayong Jun, Deputy Director of Foreign Investment Attraction of the Busan Metropolitan Gov. Then finally the participants enjoyed the dinner alongside networking.
ECCK’s CSR Initiative Successfully Concluded
November 11, 2021
The ECCK has initiated its CSR program back in August and we are thankful for the overwhelming amount of interest and participation from our members.
We would like to take this moment to give appreciation to those companies that participated in the program. They have provided many useful goods including kitchen & home appliances, clothes, food to our CSR organizations to help communities in need:
  • Electrolux
  • Fissler
  • Groupe SEB
  • The Hershey Company
  • Nestle
  • P&G
  • PUMA
Donations were delivered to the Chamber’s charity partners including Anna’s House, Jeon Jin Sang Clinic, House of Bethania, and Shinmyeong Orphanage. We would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to all the companies for their kind donation. If you wish to make donations to our CSR partners, feel free to check the information below. Charity Partners: Anna’s House: A welfare organization run by Father Kim Ha-jong (Father Vincenzo Bordo), an Italian-born Catholic priest. Since 1990, it has been providing shelter for homeless and runaway teenagers in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province. (사회복지법인 안나의집: Nonghyup Bank 171405-51-047081 / Contact: 031-757-6336) House of Bethania: A social welfare shelter for migrant workers in Korea run by Father Ha Dae-Geon (Father Christophe Bérard) and Symeon Kyung Ok Hwang. (천주교서울대교구 이주사목위원회: Woori Bank 1005-401-277443 / Contact: 02-802-9313)
Jeon Jin Sang Clinic: A medical social welfare center run by Dr. Marie-Helene Brasseur, a Belgian Doctor who has been serving neighbors in Siheung-dong, Seoul for 45 years. (전진상복지관: KB Bank 037-01-0318-564 / Contact: 02-924-9970) Shinmyeong Orphanage: A childcare facility in Korea run by Ms. Sunju Choi. (신명보육원: Suhyup Bank 2010-0797-6832 / Contact: 032-522-3944)
Anna House’s Father Vincenzo Bordo (HaJong Kim) receives donations from Fissler
House of Bethania’s Father Christophe Bérard receives donations from P&G
Anna House’s Father Vincenzo Bordo (HaJong Kim) receives donations from P&G
Previous Donations From ECCK Members:
  • Fissler donates KRW 30 mil to ECCK Charity Partners — March 9, 2021
  • Donation of KRW 9 million of food products from Nestlé to ECCK Charity Partners | December 14, 2020
  • ECCK holds Charity Race with Renault Samsung Motors | November 4, 2020
New ECCK Cosmetics Committee Chairpersons
November 11, 2021
The ECCK is pleased to announce that, Ms. Karyn Yun, Scientific Director/ KOREA R&I VP, RESEARCH & INNOVATION of L’OREAL KOREA, has been elected as the new Chairperson of the ECCK Cosmetics Committee.
Also, Ms. Sukhee Cho, Director of Korea Global Product Stewardship/R&D of Procter and Gamble Korea, has been reappointed as a Vice-Chairperson of the Cosmetics Committee.
We would like to welcome Ms. Yun and Ms. Cho. Furthermore, we are looking forward to their leadership for the Committee.
Office for Government Policy Coordination (OPC) Regulation Challenge Result
November 8, 2021
The ECCK would like to share with our members of the Office for Government Policy Coordination (OPC) Regulation Challenge Result.
Among the recommendations developed through extensive consultations with our European members participating in our 16 industry committees and working groups, 2 issues from Automotive Committee and Cosmetics Committee raised in the ECCK White Paper 2020 were taken into consideration. ‘Relaxation of Standard for Organic Labeling’ issue rasied by Cosmetics Committee has been accepted. ‘Application of Flexibility on Vehicle Width Standards’ issue raised by Automotive Committee is considered to go through a long-term, thorough review as various aspects, such as securing safety of pedestrians and drivers, etc. need to be ensured.
‘Price Labelling Requirement’ issue raised by Fashion & Retail Committee, which was dealt by KOTRA Ombudsman office was also accepted.

[Press Release] OPC Regulation Challenge Result: Website [Press Release] OPC Regulation Challenge Result: Pdf file
About the ECCK White Paper
The ECCK’s White Paper is the chamber’s annual key publication. It was first published in 2015 and since then has served as the main source of information on market access and other issues European business is facing when doing business in Korea. Thus, it aims to capture the essence of major industrial issues faced by the European businesses operating in Korea and proposes constructive recommendations to facilitate open and effective dialogue with the Korean government and relevant ministries.
The White Paper is also shared with key personnel at the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Free Trade Associations’ (EFTA) Secretariat, governments of member states of the EU and EFTA, European business interest groups but also multinational organizations such as the OECD, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.
[Herald Biz Column] Reforming Luxury Goods – Legal or Illegal?
November 19 , 2021
A column contributed by the ECCK President Christoph Heider has been published in Herald Biz on November 17. In the column president Heider talks about the issues regarding the reforming of luxury goods. Recently, consumers’ interest in reforming, customizing, and upcycling – recycling old objects and transforming them into new ones – has been increasing. This is emerging as a new trend in the sense that it allows people to express their individual creativity and helps to protect the environment. Does it pose any legal problem to reform genuine goods, especially luxury goods, into newly designed products and sell them to customers?
To tell the conclusion first, it should be noted that when reforming luxury goods as such for business, it can be considered as trademark infringement prohibited under the Trademark Act and subject to civil and criminal penalties. That is because reforming luxury goods does not simply mean repairing and restoring old products, but rather renovating and replacing fabrics and parts of outdated products to produce new goods in different design.
The following precedents illustrate that reforming or customizing is prohibited under the Trademark Act, as it corresponds to a process of manufacture or repair that damages the identity of the original product. The Supreme Court of Korea ruled that collecting empty containers of disposable cameras that have expired, loading new films, and reselling the cameras was an act of trademark infringement, because even if the genuine goods were produced and sold with permission of the trademark holder, the process of manufacturing or repairing to the extent where it damages the identity of the original product is an act of trademark infringement (Korea Supreme Court Decision, Decided on April 11, 2003).
In addition, the U.S. court ruled that the act of reforming the watch of a famous brand upon customer’s request, such as changing its bezel, text board, watch band, or inserting diamonds into the text board, and selling it was an act of trademark infringement (Rolex Watch, U.S.A., Inc. v. Michel Co. 179 F.3d 704(9th Cir. 1999)). Also, the Japanese court ruled that the act of replacing only the shaft part of a golf club of a famous brand with the shaft produced by a third party, and selling it was an act of trademark infringement (Tokyo District Court Decision, Decided on December 25, 1998).
According to the recent trends of specific ways of reforming luxury bags, reformers produce completely different types of products (mainly, the latest design of the same brand) by adding new fabrics and parts needed for reform when they received old or outdated luxury bags from customers. However, in the case of bags, even products from same brand use different components for each model, and genuine parts are not distributed or sold separately. Therefore, even if the parts used for reform look similar to genuine ones, it is highly likely to be counterfeits that use the brand’s trademark without permission. In addition, even if the reformer uses fabrics and parts of similar quality to the genuine product or has its own manufacturing skills, the reformed bag has already lost its identity as the original product and does not meet the strict quality control standards of the luxury brand. If these reformed products that used counterfeit fabrics and parts are distributed in the market such as second-hand market as if they are genuine products, consumers who mistake and purchase reformed products could also be victims of good faith, and the reputation and trust of trademark holders could be greatly damaged.
Although operating a reform business and getting paid by the customers is a serious illegal act that violates other people’s intellectual property rights, there is a lack of accurate awareness on this issue. It should be noted that reforming and customizing genuine products and distributing them may constitute a violation of Trademark Act, as clarified in previous domestic Supreme Court decision, and may be liable for criminal liability (imprisonment for up to 7 years or fines of up to 100 million won) and damages to trademark holders.

Link to the article: [Herald Biz Column] Reforming Luxury Goods – Legal or Illegal?
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