During the 2014 Annual Dinner of the Korea Southeast U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mr Kim let it be known that he had heard theHyundai Motor Co. was considering building a second plant in the U.S.
“I've heard Hyundai is considering another big facility around here,” he told the Dec. 11 gathering at the law offices of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Atlantic Station.
“I don't know where,” he admitted, but said that he suspects one of the six states that his consulate represents would be a leading candidate. Those states are: Alabama, Florida,Georgia, North and South Carolina, andTennessee. He assured everyone that he would let them know of any developments.
In 2005, Hyundai held the official opening of its first U.S. plant in Montgomery, Ala. Two years later, its sister company Kia Motorsopened a plant in West Point.
The two plants have attracted dozens of auto suppliers to the Southeast and provided thousands of jobs.
Mr. Kim said that when he visited the Kia plant recently, he told its employees that Kia was not just a Korean company but a U.S. company as well.
Having captured everyone's attention at the dinner, he then predicted that North and South Korea would be reunified.
“It will happen sooner than we expect,” he said providing “huge opportunities” for U.S. and Korean businesses that are being called “the Korean bonanza.”
Mr. Kim went even further to say that unification of the two countries would provide “a new gold rush” for U.S. companies.
Besides Mr. Kim's address, the dinner highlighted the career of James T. Laney, the U.S. ambassador to Korea from 1993-96 and a former president of Emory University, who received a lifetime achievement award.
Mr. Laney acknowledged a lifetime interest in Korea recalling his first arrival there in 1946 at age 19 as an intelligence officer. He also served as a Methodist missionary teaching atYonsei University in Seoul, South Korea's capital, and was appointed by President Bill Clinton as ambassador.
Norcross mayor, Bucky Johnson, awarded C.H. Andy Kim, the chamber's president, with a gold key to the city for his work in the Norcross' redevelopment.
Jin Kim, a pioneer in Korea of an appreciation of early Western music, and Jung-hae Kim, a harpsichordist, provided a baroque music concert comprised of pieces by Nicola Matteis (1682-1714), and J.S. Bach (1685-1750).
A former classmate in Korea of June Towery, Nelson Mullins attorney and immediate past president of the chamber, Ms. Kim lives in Belgium but came to Atlanta to the dinner and this weekend to the Besharat Gallery with her violin that dates back to 1656.
Che-jin Park, a New York attorney representing the lobbying group, Korean American Citizen Empowerment, announced that a bill to expand the quota to 15,000 E-4 visas for Korean skilled workers would be introduced in the next session of the U.S. House of Representatives.
A moment of silence was held to acknowledge the death on Dec. 3 of John Hemby, the chamber's founding president.
A review of the strengthened trade relationship between the U.S. and Korea due to theKorea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement was distributed. Mr. Kim, the consul general, called U.S.-Korea economic relations at “their highest point” ever.
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