The objectives of the British Chamber of Commerce in Korea (‘BCCK’ or ‘the Chamber’) are to promote the development of British trade, commerce and investment in Korea; to represent the opinion of the British business community in Korea on trade, commerce, finance and industry; to help create better understanding between the Korean and British business communities; and to provide opportunities for members to meet for business and social networking in order to foster knowledge exchange and sharing.
The Chamber developed from regular meetings which seven British businessmen began holding in 1977. At these meetings common issues and difficulties faced in doing business in Korea were discussed, as well as ways to encourage and expand trading links between Britain and Korea. The objectives of the Chamber today are clearly recognisable from the original ideals of the "group of seven" but it has developed to be an important representative organisation for British business interests in Korea.
The BCCK is a membership-based organization and currently has approximately 200 members of which approximately 25% are Korean. The Chamber operates under the direction of an Executive Committee (EXCO) that meets monthly. The EXCO is comprised of representatives from 12 corporate members plus two ex-officio members from the British Embassy and the British Council. The day-to-day management of the Chamber is the responsibility of the Director General who is supported by administrative staff.
The BCCK organises three regular functions which are aimed at supporting clear objectives:
Business Lunch Meeting
The Business Lunch Meeting is the most formal of our networking events to which a well-known speaker is invited to address the gathering. Speakers are drawn from the local business and diplomatic sectors. We also take advantage of important visitors from the UK.
Specific topics of current interest to members are discussed in detail at our Breakfast Workshops. Numbers are kept to a maximum of 18 members to ensure a lively debate in which everyone can participate. Someone experienced in the subject under discussion leads the Workshops.
The monthly Shindig is an informal networking event where members and interested individuals can socialise and make new acquaintances in a relaxed atmosphere. Each Shindig has a sponsor who is given an opportunity to promote his or her company and services during the evening.
In addition to those regular functions, the BCCK organises various special events such as the signature Annual Christmas Lunch and other events which take advantage of high-profile visitors and UK-based celebrations and events.
The BCCK works closely with the British Embassy’s Commercial Section, and enjoys the support and interest of the British Ambassador.
Although our events are aimed primarily at members, we also welcome the participation of non-members. The majority of members are British and Korean companies and others with a link to or interest in Britain are encouraged to join. Whether you have a business issue to resolve or you are simply looking to expand your circle of contacts, the BCCK has something to offer. We look forward to meeting you at our next event.
An important function of the BCCK is contributing to Korean society by fundraising for worthy charities. Two local charities have been selected as official recipients, and in 2012 the BCCK donated a record KRW 15,000,000 to these organisations.
Helping Hands Korea(www.helpinghandskorea.org)
Helping Hands Korea (HHK) is a Christian mission that endeavors to assist North Koreans in crisis by providing famine relief to the northeastern portion of the impoverished nation as well as assisting North Korean refugees in China. Established by Tim Peters in Seoul in 1990, it has partnered with various individuals and organizations in South Korea and around the world that share a sense of urgency for famine relief within North Korea.A hunger-relief program was set in place by the founding of Ton-A-Month Club, which endeavored to deliver food supplies to well monitored areas in the region.Since 1998, HHK also took on the task of aiding North Korean refugees who live in dire circumstances while hiding in China.
Jeon Jin Sang Centre (www.jeonjinsang.or.kr)
The Jeon Jin Sang Centre was established in 1975 when Korea did not yet have a social security system, and urbanization of rural populations resulted in vast slums on the outskirts of Seoul. While the slum area has been progressively destroyed, the rapid economic development of Korea has resulted in increasing isolation of senior citizens, handicapped, and homebound chronically ill members of the community who have been unable to participate in this development. Jeon Jin San Centre’s work consists of medical care (curative and preventive), palliative care at home, social consultations and help, legal assistance, kindergarten as well as after-school care, scholarships, and senior citizen support. In addition, the Centre has offered internships for medical and nursing students since 1992.