The Southeast US Korean Chamber of Commerce (SEUSKCC) was founded in 1991 as the Korea-Southeast US Chamber of Commerce through the efforts of visionary companies like Coca-Cola and Georgia Power. These founders recognized South Korea’s economic emergence and sought to build prosperous ties between it and the Southeastern US. Establishing the chamber laid vital groundwork for future collaboration in trade, investment, culture, and community.
In 1995, SEUSKCC continued expanding our reach and impact. We welcomed new corporate partners like Georgia Pacific and Korean Air, enabling greater collaboration. Our second annual gala drew over 300 attendees, becoming a premier networking event. We also sent our first trade mission to South Korea, catalyzing new business partnerships.
The early 2000s brought new challenges as the 1997 Asian financial crisis caused Korean companies to downsize their US operations. In 2003, SEUSKCC supported members and partners adjusting to this new economic reality. We focused on high-value networking and exchange opportunities to strengthen relationships during this period.
In 2010, SEUSKCC concentrated efforts on developing the exchange of delegations between leaders who can lay out the corner stone for investments and commerce between the US-Korea relationship. We supported the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) KORUS which was pivotable to the United States and Republic of Korea’s trade and investment world. We offered many state representatives and government interactions to facilitate talks in commerce and exchange of economic initiatives to empower Korean and American business stakeholders. This paved the way for future growth of where the key K-investments in the U.S. that we see now today.
The Southeast U.S. Korean Chamber of Commerce is one of the most critical platforms for many of the South Korean companies investing in the Southeast United States. For example, our member companies Hyundai and SK is building a battery plant in Bartow County that is a $4 billion-plus plant. Hyundai broke ground in October 2022 on a $5.5 billion EV plant near Savannah, GA. SK Battery America has already invested $2.6 billion in two battery manufacturing facilities in Jackson County to support EV including Ford F-150 Lighting. Hanwha Qcells announced that it will be investing more than $2.5 billion in building up the U.S. solar supply chain and creating 2,500 jobs in Georgia. These various projects require further investments in training, development, and education of the next generation workforce with a specific focus on advancing the underrepresented communities and population. We have a mission to make these U.S. – Republic of Korea economic development projects a success for the community.