A Yonsei graduate who is the first Korean director of the Asia-Pacific region of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) spoke in October at the 29th Creative Leadership Forum on the theme of “Financing in Asian Emerging Markets,” a category that includes Nepal and Afghanistan.
Hyun-Chan Cho opened his lecture with the observation that he was glad that in his position he can help advance Korea, where the IFC, an affiliate of the World Bank, invests a lot in companies such as LG and Hana Bank. He then covered the current state of investment in poor countries that have environmental problems and recent conflicts that cause the IFC to categorize them as emerging markets.
Although they have disadvantages such as power supply, environmental pollution, water supply, transportation drawbacks, and large populations, he said, they have advantages such as youthful populations and opportunities for application of various technological innovations that set the stage for rapid growth. He cited India’s electric car taxi company and Nepal's hydroelectric project as examples of changes made by investments from the IFC.
Recognizing one of the purposes of the Creative Leadership Forum is to help students in selecting a career path, Cho, who graduated from Yonsei in civil and environmental engineering and went on to receive a master’s from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from Tokyo University, recalled that he had no idea of the World Bank until 1996 but is very satisfied that he is currently working for the IFC. He has worked there since 1999.
He also stressed that there are many opportunities for students to investigate in the wider world and mentioned that his past as an exchange student helped expand his relationships and perspectives. He concluded his lecture by advising students not to forsake their passions, even if they experience hardships in pursuing their dreams.
Cho’s appearance was sponsored by the Yonsei Finance Leaders(YFL), a finance club, and hosted by the YSB.