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BNCT CEO, 'BJFEZ is the best partner to assist in BNCT'

The interview of BNCT CEO, John Elliott.

"BJFEZ acts more as a long-term partner in which they are always there to help you and assist in making your business successful."

Q0. Brief introduction of BNCT

BNCT is the newest container port facility in the Busan Newport area.  Our facility opened for handling ocean-going container vessels in January of 2012.
At the moment, we have a container handling capacity of 2.5 million TEUs (twenty-foot-equivalent-units). 
We are in the construction process of increasing our capacity to 3.2 million TEUs by mid-2020 with additional investment. 
Our facility is rather unique as it is the most modern design in terms of facility layout and was the first of its kind in Asia. 
Basically, our large container storage yard is completely automated in which no people or outside vehicles are within this area. 
This makes it an extremely safe environment. This design also allows much more efficient and flexible operations which our customers enjoy.   

Q1. As an Executive Director of DP World, a global terminal operator, you used to work in many Asian countries e.g. HongKong, Turkey. 
What made you come to Korea again and operate BNCT? In particular, why did you choose Busan New Port, not Incheon, Kwanyang, Daegu, and other areas in Korea? 
I had the wonderful experience of being part of the team which built and opened the first new container terminal in the Busan Newport area during 2004-2007. 
That period was just the beginning phase of the Newport and BJFEZ. It was a fantastic experience. The Newport and BJFEZ have been very successful in establishing itself as a regional hub. 
In addition, Busan as a city has only continued to grow and improve.  Therefore, when I was asked to come back for opening another company in the Newport area, I jumped at the opportunity. 
The geographic position of Busan in terms of the ocean trade lanes makes in the ideal Hub location for Northeast Asia. 
In addition, the infrastructure such as expressways and railroad connections makes it also a hub for efficient connectivity for business within Korea.       

Q2. You have been running a business for the last 7 years in the BJFEZ as a foreign businessman.
Can you say any advantages and strong points of working in BJFEZ (Tax cut, any management support, administration procedure support etc.) 
- Among them, what do you think the most satisfactory factor is which you would be confident to encourage other foreigners to invest in BJFEZ?
Could you please give us an example if you do have.

Clearly, the BJFEZ offers many advantages for a business such as Tax reductions and assistance in administrative procedures. 
I feel the biggest advantage of running a business in the BJFEZ is that you never feel alone. 
In other words, the BJFEZ acts more as a long-term partner in which they are always there to help you and assist in making your business successful. 
n addition, they actively ask how they can make improvements in the BJFEZ to improve the ease of doing business. 

Q3. BNCT is recently under capacity expansion project to handle more volume. What kinds of potentials of Busan New Port drive this expansion?

The ownership of BNCT is a combination of both Korean and foreign shareholders. A high capacity container handling facility such as BNCT is a large and long-term investment.
The shareholders would never perform the initial investment and the current expansion project without having confidence in Busan. 
We have had good growth since opening and the forecast is for this growth to continue and we have confidence that it will. 
s with any country’s economy or even with the global economy, things do not always go as we would like. 
What I love about Korea is that the local government stays extremely active in trying to drive growth and the local economy. 
n addition, they understand the importance of Busan being part of the Global Market.         

Q4. Why do you think your customers choose to call BNCT not other terminals? What kinds of advantages does BNCT provide to customers?
(safe transportation, handling capacity, ability to accommodate super large vessels, efficient truck gate in/out) 

The special design of our facility offers both efficient and safe handling operations for ocean vessels and road trucks. 
We continue to invest in the ability to provide our customers with market growth potential as we expand our facility capacity. 
BNCT has a great team in terms of employees.  They strive to provide everyone which uses our facility the best service possible. 
We continually look for ways to improve the efficiency and reliability for our customers. 

Q5. As you run business (company), what do you emphasize most to BNCT employees (what are the main points you emphasize to your staffs)? And what are the reasons? 

The number one priority which we emphasize is always safety.  We have large equipment and ocean-going vessels operating in our facility. 
Therefore, we constantly focus on safety.  Communications is also always an important topic. 
In addition, we want our employees to be very proud of what they have accomplished since the opening of our facility in 2012. 
Working together, they have accomplished tremendous volume growth and developed a wonderful company. 
We want them to be as proud of themselves as we are proud of them. 

Q6. What kinds of difficulties are there in running business in Korea? (Complicated administration procedure, food culture etc.) 
Vise Versa, what kinds of advantages are there in running a business in Korea? (Government support, Korean food, Korean culture etc.)

I cannot think of really anything which I would classify as difficulty in running a business in Korea. 
any people have concerns about language barriers when working outside of their own home country. 
However, many Koreans speak English rather well or understand enough to communicate.
In addition, people in Busan are very kind and go out of their way to try to understand you even if through just hand gestures. 
I greatly enjoy the large variety of Korean food and I find it one of the healthiest in the world. 
In addition, Busan offers many international restaurants as well. The best advantage is the Korean employees. 
It’s a well-educated workforce with very strong work ethics. I have worked and lived in many countries and I find the Koreans one of the best in the world.

Q7. What attractiveness does Busan have as residence? 

Busan is a wonderful city and it is only getting better each year. I find that it is a modern city which also maintains its traditional Korean charm. 
As a foreigner, you are treated rather special in Busan. It’s in the Korean Culture that everyone wants you and your family to enjoy their city and life while you are in Korea. 
An important aspect of any family is that Korea is extremely safe. 

Q8. What is the first priority to be settled in order to establish a logistics cluster in BJFEZ and create a synergy effect with the mutual growth of companies? 

As in any location and especially in Korea, it is important to establish your network.
In other words, it is important to get involved with the industry and community which is around you. 
All of the companies in the BJFEZ have experienced the start-up of their company at some point. 
Therefore, they are a good source for gaining information and ideas to help the success of your business and enjoying life in Korea.