Ho Min, Yoo


Name: Mr. Ho-Min Yoo
Birthdate: August 12, 1943
Academic Career:
. Seoul Jae-dong Primary School
. 1961: Kyunggi Middle & High School
1961-1967: Majored in Law, Seoul National University (B.A.)
1983: Harvard University, Graduate School of Business (AMP)
Career Record:
. 1968: Passed the 6th Higher Civil Service Examination
. 1967-1969: Researcher of Local Economy Center in Graduate School of Administration, Seoul National University
1969-1973: Vice Director, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy
1973-1977: Director, Ministry of MOTIE
1977-1978: Inspector of MOTIE
1978-1980: General Director, Ministry of Resource and Energy
1980: Secretary to the President (General Director for Economy)
1981-1983: Director of Daewoo Libya Branch
1984-1985: Export Managing Director of Daewoo Co.
1985-1986: President of Daeyang Shipping Co.
1986: President of Daeyang Co.
1987: President of Namyang Metal Co.
1988: President of Namyang Precision Co.
. Order of Service Merit "Red Stripes"
. Medal from the President for reaching US dollars 100 billion annual export
. Presidential Commendations
. 3 times commendations from Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy
. Economic Development and Overseas Resource
. Exploitation, and so on


Phase I (From birth to the beginning of working life)
I was born a second child, following the elder sister in the family of two sons and two daughters, on August 12, 1943. My father was an internal doctor who served as the personal physician for Seung-Mahn Rhee, the first President of Korea. When many partisans of the ruling party defected to the opposing party as Rhee's dictatorship worsened, my father followed suit and served as the physician in charge of the first Vice President Lee Shi-Young and the incumbent head of the Democratic Party, Dr. Cho Byung-Ok. He also served as the personal physician for Dr. Kim Do-Yeon who had in the past ran in the election for Prime Minister while the nation was under Cabinet administration after Rhee was forced to resign. The reason for his great interest in the politics as a physician can be attibuted to his father-in-law, or my maternal grandfather. His living status was the upper middle class, but he belonged to the high social rank. He deceased in September 1995.
My mother was a housewife who passed away in April, 1995. Her grandfather, Park Jung-Yang, had been the Prime Minister during the reign of King Ko-Jong of the Yi Dynasty and had also served the first ambassador to the United States. He was a reform advocate at that time and actively supported Seung-Mahn Rhee and other youg reform-oriented figures. Her father, Park Sung-Chul, had transferred from Seoul to Yeonchun, Kyunggi Province during the Japanese colonial rule to participate in the liberation movements and consequently ended up spending six months behind bars. After the liberation, Dr. Rhee and others suggested that he make a career out of politics which he refused and became the president of the Korea Electric Power Corporation instead. He was later abducted by Kim-II-Sung during the Korean War.
All four childen in the family have graduated from either Kyunggi High School or Kyunggi Girls's High School, both highly prestigious institutions in Korea, and went on to Seoul National University and such. These are the fruits of consistent and strict living style kept by my mother.
My mother used to always remind me, without being too explicit, about paying respect to and helping those most in need. She taught me to live honestly. During the time of Korean War, survival was difficult for everyone seeking refuge in the South, but my mother kept her words by urging me to help her gratify others' hunger. She was a great influence in my growing up as much as my father was.
My mother's paternal uncle, Park Sung-Hee, had decided to donate all his inheritance from his father Park Jung-Yang to the then-famous thespian group called, "Towolhoe", claimed as the very first in Korea of its kind and established by a number of young and dedicated patriots of the time. He resided at the keeper's house of the sepulchral site of ancestors and there he deceased.
As mentioned above, I have lived a happy and blessed life under the protection from a medical doctor father and upper class descendant mother until the Korean War hit. The War broke out when I was eleven, I have witnessed many deaths in the middle of Seoul streets, before my very eyes, and I still remember the hunger I had felt then.
Later, after the War situation worsened as China became involved in the War, we were left with no choice but to be driven down the peninsula to Pusan at my age of eight and we were a family of seven including my mother's maidservant, huddled together in one small room for survival. When the War was finally over, I returned to Seoul at the age of eleven and the following year, I was enrolled at Kyunggi Middle School, claimed to be the top institution in Korea. My favorite sport was baseball, and my favorite subject, mathematics. By the time I was to go on to college, I pondered whether to apply for medical studies like my father or law studies in order to become a politician. In the end, I chose law studies.
While I was enrolled in the law department of Seoul National University, public demonstrations against the Korea-Japan diplomacy normalization agreements was undeniably great in 1963. As a result of taking the leadership position in the riots, I was suspended from school for 3 months. From then onwards, political suppressions started from President Park, and I decided to abandon my dream of becoming a politician. In 1968, I placed second in the National Public Administration Examination (national qualification exam for recruiting civil servicemen), the most difficult test to pass in Korea at that time. Thus I had diverted from a politician candidate to a public administrator.

Phase II (Life as a Civil Servant)
After passing the state examination of Public Administration, I was positioned as a vice director at the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy from 1969 to 1973, in charge of economy related policies.
The important tasks carried out at such position took me to report to the President as well as the ministers on certain occasions and the instances led to my being promoted to director in 1973, much earlier than my peers. During the first half of my vice director years, I was in charge of general trade diplomacy. Starting from 1969, the US tried to haevily limit the Korean export of textiles. For the same year, the Korean exports totalled at about 1 billion US dollars and textiles took up as much as 30%. Thus the issue was too great to be overlooked.
It was there that I was to come in. As a field operation representative, I had worked days and nights, up to 10 or 11 pm and sometimes slept in office for more than a whole month. I was given almost no time at all to rest, for three consecutive years. The position required me to keep in contact with economy related ministers and the President himself.
I also served as an active representative at the UNCTAD, GATT, ECAFE and other international organizations.
While working at the General Trade Policy Division, after the Korea-US agreement on textiles were signed, President Park Jung-Hee announced a goal of achieving "per capita income of US dolars 1,000 and annual export of US dolars 10 billion by the year 1980". I was the very person in charge of meeting the goal of US dolars 10 billion annual export. Over the next three months, I established henceforth 10-year export plans by the years, goods, and nations assisted by 20 KOTRA staff.
Meeting the US dolars 10 billion export expectation was deemed close to impossible at the time when the total export for 1970 was merely US dollars 1.3 billion. But the goal was achieved three years earlier than anticipated in 1977. In relation to this successful plan, I remember feeling proud and honored observing a display panel at the entrance of my high school showing the details of my very own export plan.
With such successful accomplishments as a vice director, I was promoted to director position in 1973, three years ahead of my peers. That was when the first oil shock struck. I was posted to work as a petroleum director and had to work toward overcoming the oil crisis in a room that lacked any sort of cooling system. When the oil shock ended, I was posted to the export division and had to implement the very export plan of reaching US dollars 10 billion that I had designed while a vice director as well as supervising the export responsabilities from the past position. As a Korean delegates to the EEC meets, I was in charge of representing Korea in the export and trade talks which took me to Brussels on 6 or 7 occasions. It was over the weekend that I had a chance to visit Madrid for 2 days for the first time. During those days, I was also successful in establishing and carrying out a general trading company system in order to push toward the Korean export drives. In 1975, I was promoted to become the secretary of Minister of Trade, Industry, and Energy while directing the export division at the same time.
Such accomplishments took me to be promoted the Director General in 1977, again 3 to 4 year ahead of my peers. I was also to take on the supervisory position in watching over the responsabilities of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy. In 1978, I was named the Director of Natural Resources Development Division in the Ministry of Energy and Resource. I was in charge of not only local resource developments, but also overseas resources cooperative relations which led to signing natural resource agreements with Australia, Indonesia, and Colombia, eventually establishing commissions for each respective ties.
On October 26, 1979, President Park Jung-Hee was shot to death and the incumbent Secretary of State, Choi Kyu-Ha was called to succeed the presidency. I became President Choi's secretary and was responsible for all four Ministries: of Trade, Industry, and Energy, of Energy and Resources, of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and of Transportation. Later however, I had to resign from governmental office following the military coup d'etat led by Chun Doo-Hwan in July 1980.
As a civil servant, I had been fortunate enough to receive various medals and awards including the Order of Service Merit "Red Stripes" and another from the President for reaching US dollars 10 billion annual export.

Phase III (Corporate Management)
Following the Chun-led coup d'etat, I was forced out of civil service and was left to ponder and be put under despair regarding the direction of my career. After enough rumination, I was led to work as the managing director at Daewoo, one of the largest business conglomerates in Korea. This marked the start of a contrasting life as I had only worked as a civil servant in the past. I volunteered to work in Tripoli, Lybia, the most notorius place to be. Although life was harsh in the Free Fabric (?) of desert surroundings, especially without my family, it served an important purpose of taking on many challenging responsibilities regarding petroleum and goods trade since Lybia, at that time, was the second largest market for Daewoo after the US. It was a phase of much hardship, both physically and mentally.
Upon wrapping up the two years in Lybia, I was given a brief opportunity to study at the Harvard University, Graduate School of Business (Advanced Management Program course) in the US. And from 1984, I started to work as the chief director of both Mechanics & Chemicals Division and Special Supplies Division at Daewoo Corp., assuming export drive tasks from a perspective quite different from the past civil service days.
By 1985, I was promoted to the Vice President of Daewoo Corp. After two years of effort, from 1986 to 1987, I succeeded in co-establishing Namyang Metal Co. Ltd. with Marubeni and Hitachi of Japan. It took another two years to establish Namyang Precision Co. from 1987 to 1988, and another two years to establish Allstate Insurance Co. with Allstate of US from 1988 to 1989. It was till October 1992 that I served the Vice President and President of three companies, after which I has transferred to the present position of KIDP. The three companies continue to grow as the chief sources of income for Daewoo Corp. Because the factories were located in the provinces, I was left with no choise but to be separated from my family for 7, 8 years but at the same time, valued the opportunity to experience establishing and running the manufacturing and service industries.

Phase IV (Inauguration as the KIDP President)
Upon the Presidential inauguration of Kim Young-Sam, I was recommended by the peers for the President position of KIDP, an organization under the supervision of MOTIE. When I first arrived at the KIDP, the general interest from the government, corporates, and the public on industrial design was very minimal, posing as great barriers to enhancing the living standards for everyone. I was driven to increase the government-supported budget on the industrial design promotion to ten times and the overall activities of KIDP were maximized greatly both in quality and in quantity. Starting from 1994, as many as 3,500 enterprises are benefitted from industrial design consultations, and 3,000 designers in the field are being retrained annually. Moreover, 30,000 business bodies ara receiving industrial design training.
Every year, 100,000 students in the primary, middle, and high schools are being educated in industrial design. In March 1996, an International Graduate School of Industrial Design was established within the KIDP with a view to train and bring up industrial design elites. Fifteen different purpose exhibitions are being held every year, as well as organizing more than 10 regional comprehensive industrial design events across the nation.
As a result, the demand for industries has increased by 30 to 40 times over the past 3 years, and the interest in industrial design has risen magnanimously coming from the education and mass media fields and various decision makers of the society, as well as the general public. The number of participants in the various industrial design events are about 1 million.
With the emphasis on international cooperation, more than 100 designers from abroad are being invited every year to consult the local industries while promoting the internationalization of industrial design. This has resulted because I have had much experience in international relations while working for the government and later while managing the businesses. I have pursued such goals because of my backgroung and along the way. I have come to eventually recognize the fact through such experiences that industrial design in Spain is outstanding in every way.
From July 1994 to present, I have invited 26 industrial designers from Spain, and I plan to do more by linking the Gaudi interior design with Korean industries with Gaudi Chair as the main channel. I would like to also contribute to the mutual developments of both countries as Spanish construction industries charge forward into the Third World including Korea.

My Statement
In July 1996, I had a chance to visit Barcelona for the second time, the first having been made in 1994, with the purpose of participating in the Korea-Spain Economy Conference.
It had been particularly valuable in providing some in-depth information about Catalonia as well as establishing significant grounds for an alliance between the two countries.
When I was visiting in 1994, Ms. Mai Felip, the President of ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) at the time was kind enough to enlighten me on the industrial design in Spain and I was introduced to Mr. Ramon Benedito and other outstanding designers, of whom 26 were later invited to give consultations to small and medium-size industries in Korea with a view to contribute to the overall industrial design developments in Korea.
Since then, KIDP has performed its decisive role in the formation of economic cooperation and mutual alliance ties between the two countries by inviting the Spanish designers to Korea to become familiarized with the Korean industry.
The recent visit made in July this year has an even broader meaning.
Learning about the Gaudi arts, thanks to Dr. Bassegoda, has been an informative experience in that it provided a chance to appreciate the other side of Catalonian arts.
Furthermore, it was to my personal benefit to be given the chance to observe the aesthetics and the noble spirits of Gaudi arts. I felt it my duty to convey his lofty spirits to the others.
In firm belief that introducing his art to Korea will serve a great purpose of building yet another dimension of relationship between the two countries, and moreover, be of religious significance to have his nobel spirits delivered to Korea, it has been made possible to hold a Gaudi Invitation Exhibition in Korea this October with support from Mr. Negre, the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The mutual agreement signed between KIDP and Gaudi Chair has its significance deep-rooted in hopes of improving the design education in Korea while studying the traditional design of Spain. To sum it up, it is another one of many accomplishments made by KIDP in efforts to spiritually link Spain and Korea together.

Vegeu català / Ver castellano / Spanish view

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