Hanwha, one of top Korean conglomerates, is stepping up its efforts to gain its presence in the world stage. This time now, Hanwha is looking to one of the most promising emerging economies in Southeastern Asia: Cambodia.
With “Hanwha Forest in Cambodia,” 40 times larger than the size of Yoido in Seoul, Hanwha will start producing timber from the latter half of this year in an effort to shed its stodgy corporate image of domestic demand-driven businesses, highlighting its newly launched large-scale forestation project in Cambodia and solar voltaic business operations in the U.S.
Hanwha announced on April 16 that it has struck a profit-sharing deal with the Cambodian Government to be granted with 34,000-hectare forest land for timber development for the next 70 years. Hanwha plans to kick-start the commercial production as early as possible once the forestation camp and sawmill are set to go sometime in the first half of this year. Lumber and veneer panels produced from 120,000-cubic-meter timber will be exported to Vietnam and China, and by the end of this year the total headcount in the local business is expected to surpass 600.
The significance of this resources-development project comes with the fact that it is actually the first of this sort after an economic cooperation agreement between the Korean and Cambodian governments signed back in 2009. Previously derailed business negotiations with a Japanese state-run company testifies how complicated the Cambodian government’s approval process can be.
At the corporate level, however, Hanwha is determined to make the most out of this project and to start employing country specific marketing tactics based on the comprehensive plans to build agricultural production centers and logistics infrastructure. With further infrastructures, Hanwha said it would consider building and operating a thermal power plant using recycled wood chips from the sawmill.
Further to renew its global initiative, Hanwha took over minority stake in solar voltaic venture capital Crystal Solar last September in Silicon Valley in the United States and has just started operating its solar voltaic laboratory “Hanwha Solar America.”
Jeansun Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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