Finding the Seoul in American Music

392px-Madame_Freedom_posterSince the implementation of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), there has been an increase in the trade of physical goods as well as cultural and intellectual goods. U.S. companies like Rondo Music and Wenger Corporation are enjoying increased sales in Korea and are meeting with their Korean partners more frequently. Also, the influence of Hallyu on U.S. music is readily apparent with collaborations between PSY and Snoop Dogg, JYJ and Kanye West, and many more. The KORUS FTA has opened the doors to Korean culture, and U.S. musicians are integrating Korean instruments and sounds to broaden their horizons.

One of my first interactions with Korean culture was re-scoring the influential 1956 Korean film, Madame Freedom.… Read More

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Doing business in South Korea: You just don’t know until you go

In 2009, when I first began exploring business opportunities in South Korea, I knew little more about the country than its history of rising from the ruins of the devastating and divisive Korean War to become a dynamic industrial nation. Otherwise, I had no idea what to expect. Although many of my friends and associates were doing business in Asia, they were going to China, Japan or Singapore. I didn’t know anyone who had even visited Korea.

Six years later, my deep and abiding relationships in this remarkable country have proven my conviction that one cannot expect to succeed in another city, state or country without investing as much time as capital there.… Read More

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Korea: A Gateway to Asia


Since 1979, my company, East West International Group (EWIG), has helped U.S.-based companies enter international markets. About 20 years ago I began helping clients trade with Korea. Over the years my clients have realized that there is great opportunity in Korea for American products. Thanks to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), trade with Korea has become much easier.

After the Korean War, American GIs remained in Korea and the ongoing interaction between American soldiers and local communities has created a unique American-Korean culture. This decades-long exchange of ideas and knowledge fueled the modern technology development in Korea as well as the birth of American-Korean style pop music and fashions.… Read More

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Starting Is Half the Task in Building a Strong Trade Relationship

Ken Grant, Director of Marketing

Ken Grant, Director of Marketing

I vividly remember my first full day in Seoul. A colleague and I were being treated to a delicious Korean barbecue dinner by our Korean distributor’s 15-member team after a long day of product training.

As the meat was cooking at the table, my counterpart and I found ourselves in a slightly awkward position. Even though we had worked with this distributor for the last five years, our communication had primarily been through email. As we talked, we grappled with the language barrier and quickly exhausted our small talk topics.

After mentioning how lovely the restaurant was and how we were looking forward to the meal, I pulled up Google Translate on my phone and typed in some simple, non-business questions such as: What kind of movies do you like?… Read More

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Scanning the World for the Right Partner

ABT logo

As the field of diagnostic medicine rapidly advances, there is growing demand for access to medical imaging technology. My company, ABT Molecular Imaging has partnered with Korea’s SI Healthcare Limited to facilitate the expansion of advanced radiochemistry research in clinical and pre-clinical molecular imaging.

Expanding into Korea was a key priority for ABT when we introduced our mini-cyclotron isotope generator, which delivers “dose on demand” biomarkers used in medical imaging processes such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and computerized tomography (CT) scans. Korea’s healthcare and research market is very advanced and we knew that healthcare providers at research universities and private diagnostic facilities in Korea could benefit from the cost-effectiveness and operating efficiencies provided by our new product.… Read More

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