Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers announced the opening of a new Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) office in Seoul to build on the growing industry ties and economic momentum between Indiana and South Korea. The office, which officially opened July 1, marks the IEDC’s second new office expansion this year and its eighth international office, reinforcing the state’s commitment to global engagement.
“Indiana’s new Seoul office underscores the importance of the state’s deepening relationships with Korean companies and their increased interest in a dynamic Hoosier workforce and economy,” said Sec. Chambers. “With over $6 billion of recently announced capital investment from Korean companies and their JV partners, an IEDC office in Korea is a further commitment to building high-tech, future-focused investments and job opportunities to the Hoosier state. After visiting with government and industry leaders in Seoul twice over the past year, I’m confident that Indiana and South Korea share similar visions for our futures and that investing in our growing partnership will deliver mutually beneficial results in industry and innovation.”
The IEDC’s Seoul office, which will be managed by Narai Kim and Max Kim, will focus on attracting new foreign direct investment in future-focused sectors, such as energy, mobility, hard tech, advanced manufacturing and life sciences, and building on the industry and innovation partnerships between Indiana and South Korea. The Seoul office will be led by director Narai, a 15-year veteran in international business-to-business, business-to-government and government-to-government projects in the advanced manufacturing sector. She has experience collaborating with governmental organizations around the world to support the technology transfer and licensing programs with a focus on the battery, materials and aerospace sectors. Narai will be joined by manager Max whose background stems from the manufacturing and energy sector with experience in market research and project management for global companies.
Today’s news builds on the growing economic relationship between Indiana and South Korea, following two state-led economic development trips to Korea within the last year. In August 2022, Gov. Holcomb and Sec. Chambers traveled to Seoul to target opportunities for investment in energy and electric vehicles, and in March 2023, Sec. Chambers led a delegation to Seoul to participate in the InterBattery Conference – Korea’s leading battery exhibition. Indiana was one of eight states invited by the U.S. Embassy in Seoul to exhibit within the conference’s U.S. pavilion.
Indiana is home to 14 South Korea-based companies – a number that continues to grow with recent investment announcements from companies like Jaewon Industrial, which is establishing its first U.S. location in Kokomo to support chemical recycling for lithium-ion battery manufacturers; Soulbrain MI, a tier one supplier for the EV industry that is investing $76.5 million to establish operations in Kokomo; and Samsung SDI, which is investing in two major joint ventures to build new EV battery manufacturing facilities with Stellantis in Kokomo and with General Motors in New Carlisle. Additionally, South Korea hosts operations of six Indiana-based businesses.
At the IEDC, Narai and Max join a robust team of business developers in Indiana and globally, focused on creating the economy of the future in Indiana by advancing high-tech sectors, such as agbiosciences, industry 4.0, life sciences, semiconductor fabrication and design, and electric vehicles. In 2022, the IEDC secured $22.2 billion in new industry investments, including $15.5 billion from companies establishing new operations – either as a startup company or as an established business investing in Indiana for the first time.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is charged with growing the State economy, driving economic development, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Led by Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers, @SecChambersIN, and governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, @GovHolcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit iedc.in.gov.
Erin Sweitzer, IEDC