Project K, a Myanmar boy band, starting K-Pop training from Sep 15, 2020, in Korea

Project K, a Myanmar boy band, starting K-Pop training from Sep 15, 2020, in Korea

POSCO INTERNATIONAL (CEO: Joo Si-Bo) fully supports Project K, a Myanmar boy band, to receive K-Pop training in Korea for roughly one month from September 15, 2020, as a follow-up on the commitment made by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar and President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea during the summit held in 2019 to promote the exchange of culture and arts between the two countries.

Project K, made up of seven male members, won the second prize at the Seoul International K-Pop Cover Dance Competition 2016 held in Korea. Drawing attention for its unique combination of K-Pop music and traditional Myanmar dancing at the competition, this boy band has since been invited to a range of high-profile events hosted in Myanmar, enjoying immense popularity.

Building on its strong ties forged with Myanmar for more than three decades while conducting business across wide-ranging areas from Shwe Project to agro and hotel business, POSCO INTERNATIONAL has partnered with ambassador Lee Sang-Hwa as a representative of the Korean Embassy in Myanmar, the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Myanmar Embassy in Korea since January 2020 to create opportunity to promote K-Culture exchanges and address this issue of
mutual interest between the two countries in so doing.

Training will be funded by POSCO INTERNATIONAL and other Shwe Project consortium partners – Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE, Myanmar state-run oil company), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC, Indian state-run oil company), Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL, Indian state-run gas company), and Korea Gas Corporation.

Following the completion of training, Project K will be able to perform at the Asia Song Festival held in Korea for two days between October 9 and October 10, 2020.

Attended by Asia’s top-tier music artists, this annual festival has served to promote cultural interactions among Asian countries over the past 16 years since 2004. This year’s event will be hosted in Gyeongju, and Project K will grace the stage with artists from Vietnam, China, Japan, Thailand, India and other nations as well as from Korea, contributing to broadening the base for K-Pop culture in Myanmar and emerging as a symbol of cooperation between Myanmar and the Republic of Korea.

Specifically, Project K’s training in Korea bears significance not only in promoting cultural exchange between the two nations but also in continuing with years of endeavors made by the Company to disseminate the philosophy of ‘Corporate Citizenship’.

In May 2019, POSCO INTERNATIONAL, in conjunction with POSCO and POSCO C&C, hosted friendly matches between Pohang Steelers, the Myanmar professional football club Ayeyawady United FC, and the Myanmar U-22 national football team at the Yangon Thuwunna YTC Stadium. The Company also
constructed a photovoltaic power generation system on Manaung Island to assist the Myanmar government in resolving one of its long-standing challenges of power shortage. This year, the Company set yet another example of practicing the global ‘Corporate Citizenship’ in the culture and arts area through its support for the spread of K-Culture.

In full compliance with COVID-19 disease control guidelines, Project K initiated its schedule in Korea by visiting the Headquarters of POSCO INTERNATIONAL in Songdo, Incheon, on September 16, 2020.

Key executive members including CEO Joo Si-Bo and head of Corporate Management Group Lee Yong-Suk greeted Project K with a warm welcome. “It is deeply meaningful that we are supporting Project K for its visit and training in Korea on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties between Myanmar and the Republic of Korea”, mentioned CEO Joo Si-Bo in his encouraging remarks, and added “We hope that each of you will play a significant role in facilitating bilateral exchange between Myanmar and Korea in the years ahead”.

“We are so happy and grateful to POSCO INTERNATIONAL and other Shwe Project consortium partners for this opportunity to receive training in Korea”, commented Project K, adding “We do appreciate your encouragement and we will work hard to present our best performance and take the lead in promoting bilatera exchange between Korea and Myanmar”. Project K will be provided with systemic training at SL Studio, a professional K-Pop training institute, on dancing, singing, acting and workout, along with a meeting with the Korean idol band Newkidd, dance cover practice for the Asia Song Festival, and music video filming.

Project K built a friendship with the Korean idol band ‘Newkidd’ on Sep 17, 2020. photo: Supplied
The boy band will be also given a range of opportunities to experience Korean culture, from visit to Korean entertainment companies to Korean food cooking. POSCO INTERNATIONAL’s commitment to fully supporting Project K’s training in Korea is driven by its long-standing relationship with Myanmar.This win-win partnership between POSCO INTERNATIONAL and Myanmar dates back 35 years. It was in 1985 when the Company first established business presence in the country with the
supply of 100 train carriages to the then Ministry of Rail Transportation of Myanmar. The Company has since widened its territories into trade, resource development and agro business among others, and this came in tandem with diverse mutually-beneficial social contribution programs launched in the areas of healthcare, education, environment and infrastructure support for local communities in Myanmar to build sustainable trust-based relationships.

Myanmar Shwe Project represents one of the greatest success stories created through cooperation between POSCO INTERNATIONAL and Myanmar. Beginning with Block A-1 located in the western seas of Myanmar where a production sharing contract was signed in 2000, the Company went on to discover gas fields one after another: the Shwe gas field in Block A-1 in 2004, the Shwe Phyu gas field in 2005, and the Mya gas field in Block A-3 in 2006. After 13 years of gas field
development, production was initiated from July 2013. These gas fields are indeed the greatest in size out of all the gas fields identified across Southeast Asia since 2000.

Each day, more than 500 million cubic feet of gas is transported through the offshore gas pipeline to the onshore gas terminal in Kyaukphyu, and then is sold in Myanmar and China through the onshore pipeline. Early this year, new gas reservior were discovered in the Mahar closure in Block A-3. POSCO INTERNATIONAL is also widely known for its Lotte Hotel Yangon which opened in 2018. This hotel, situated near Inya Lake in Yangon, the nation’s greatest business epicenter, is recognized as one of Myanmar’s most luxurious hotels. It consists of a 15-story high-end hotel building with 343 rooms, a 29-story long-term serviced apartment building with 315 rooms, a convention center, restaurants, a swimming pool and other recreational facilities. POSCO INTERNATIONAL oversaw the overall hotel development project, and has been responsible for the entire process from project bidding to development and management.

Furthermore, the Company recognized the immense potential of Myanmar’s agricultural market and established a Rice Processing Complex (RPC) to pursue itsbusiness strategy in alignment with the nation’s agricultural development. The RPC is an integrated rice-processing facility where harvested rice is dried, stored, polished and inspected prior to selling. POSCO INTERNATIONAL’s RPC is located in Twante, a riverfron t town that serves as a key logistics location connecting the grain belt of Ayeyarwady with Yangon’s export port. The Company plans to leverage the RPC to secure high-quality raw material rice grown in Myanmar and expan sales to China, the Middle East, and Europe to increase its market share.

While conducting business in Myanmar, POSCO INTERNATIONAL also lends a sympathetic ear to local communities where it is based to share their difficulties and pursue shared growth and co-prosperity. One of the most salient examples is the photovoltaic power generation system completed on Manaung Island last December.

is system, which combines a 500kW PV power generator with a 2,000kWh Energy Storage System (ESS), supplies 24/7 electricity to more than 1,000 households on the island, and is expected to help operate public healthcare centers and other hygiene facilities and gradually raise the productivity of the local agriculture and fishing industries.

As part of the Shwe Project undertaking, the Company is proactively reaching out to local communities in the vicinity of its worksites to provide support in a wide array
of areas, including education, environment, healthcare and infrastructure. New schools were constructed a locations that lend to shorter commutes for students who previously faced difficulties in continuing with their education due to long commutes, and more than 60 school buildings that had maintenance issues were replaced with new ones or retrofitted. To preserve the environment and prevent typhoon damages, mangrove forests have been created in a size more than 2,062 acres planted with 2,414,316 mangrove saplings since 2011, and local residents were hired in the formation and management of these forests as a way to boost the local economy. In
addition, schools, libraries, roads and water supply facilities were built in nearby villages to offer practical assistance and promote win-win partnerships with them.

Since 2015, the Company has undertaken a social contribution program for children with facial deformities at Yangon General Hospital: Korean plastic surgeons personally come to Myanmar and stay one week to operate on more than 50 children with deformed facial features, bringing back a big smile to these children in so doing.

This year, the Company donated rapid testing kits, respirators, face masks and protective suits to cope with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. POSCO INTERNATIONAL will continue to create and expand business opportunities in a wide array of areas including LNG in Myanmar, one of its critical strategic markets, and relentlessly pursue win-win partnerships as a ‘Global Corporate Citizen’ in the upcoming years.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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