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Erma First opens a South Korea office

Erma First
Erma First’s business development manager Helen Polychronopoulou (centre) opened the office last Saturday, flanked by the company’s managing director, Konstantinos Stampedakis, the Ambassador of Greece in the Republic of Korea, Ifigenia Kontoleontos, and local representatives

Erma First opened a new branch office in Busan, South Korea, on 17 March. It is a joint operation with its Korean agent, Magna Mare. “There is a growing demand for our systems worldwide,” the company’s marketing and communications executive Irene Vitsara told BWTT. “Korea has always been an important and strong market,” she added.

In a statement released today, managing director and director of research, development and engineering at Erma First, Konstantinos Stampedakis, said the new office supports its existing client base in South Korea and advances its plans to offer its services in all key maritime locations. “We believe that our new office, in such an important location, will expand our services range, will allow us to further provide our support to all Korean shipyards and will also enable us to respond to real-time demand,” he said.

His comments echoed some made last month by Jongsoo Seo, a Seoul-based maritime specialist working for the UK government’s Department for International Trade. He had told guests in London that ballast water management system (BWMS) makers wanting to break into the South Korean market should link up with a technical Korean partner and focus on securing USCG type-approval.

Erma First now has both of those and Ms Vitsara acknowledged that its agent was “a key factor in our development” because it is “more familiar with the local market and its ways.” But she stressed that the company has always had a team of our experts available, “especially when we had ongoing projects and this has helped us gain the trust of the local shipyards as they got to know us and became familiar with our systems alongside us,” she said.

And USCG type-approval “is considered an advantage almost everywhere now,” she said. “It is a great plus, not only for South Korea but for everywhere else too.”

The Original Posted  by Paul Gunton/Ballast Water Treatment Technology