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South Korea running for ISO Presidency for first time 2022-06-20

Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS), under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), announced that Hyundai Mobis CEO Cho Sung-hwan has registered as candidate for next President of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The ISO is the world’s largest standards organization in terms of the number of standards published (24,000 standards to date), followed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) with approximately 13,000 standards, and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) with 4,000 standards.

The ISO President becomes the chairman of the General Assembly and also of the Board of Directors, wielding accordingly a great amount of leverage in each decision-making. Only those with full membership can exercise the right to vote for President. The candidates can choose to run for either a two-year term or three-year term; South Korean candidate Cho Sung-hwan has chosen the former.

An ISO President is endowed with the role of representing the organization in each international, regional and national event, where he or she promotes international standardization through exchanges with other international organizations and decision-makers. Furthermore, the President is expected to exert leadership and foster cooperation among the ISO member institutions and Board of Directors.

Based on South Korea’s achievements in international standardization and successful strides in industrialization, KATS has been consistently making efforts to bring about a South Korean candidate for ISO Presidency.

Not only is South Korea an ISO board member, but there are also 41 South Koreans active as ISO Technical Committees’ chairpersons and assistant administrators. South Korea currently ranks 8th in terms of active participation and allotted expenses, but candidacy for President is a first.

Asian members from China, Japan (twice), India (twice) and Singapore have each taken up the role of President in the past.

ISO President candidate Cho Sung-hwan is presently the CEO of Hyundai Mobis, a global auto parts maker. He has on many occasions proven his acumen as an exceptional business leader with rich experience in international affairs, equipped with a solid understanding of international standards and linguistic fluency.

He is deemed a likely candidate particularly in view of his accomplishments at Hyundai Mobis, for empowering new business models and EV movements, as well as his extroverted contribution to creating connections across diverse industries and accelerating the expansion of Korea’s engineering technology as full member of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea (NAEK) and first chairman of Korea Autonomous Industry Association (KAIA).

Chinese candidate Decheng Wang, chairman of the Chinese Academy of Mechanics and Chemistry, is also competing for Presidency.

The election will be held in Abu Dhabi in September during the upcoming ISO General Assembly, where the candidate with highest number of votes from 124 full members wins. The majority vote winner will participate in ISO affairs for one year alongside incumbent President Ulrika Francke, whose term ends in 2023, before official inauguration in 2024.