Economic exchange between Hawaii and Korea on the rise

November 21, 2015
Polynesian Plaza boutique hotel was bought by a California-based Korean company earlier this year.

Polynesian Plaza boutique hotel was bought by a California-based Korean company earlier this year.

By The Korea Times Hawaii staff

Following Governor David Ige’s recent visit to South Korea, and the 75th anniversary of the Hawaii Korean Chamber of Commerce, economic exchange between Korea and the state are stronger than ever.

As Hallyu spreads to the economy and pushes exports overseas in Korean makeup, food and other products, and encourages rising exchanges in tourism, education and the technology industry, as well as real estate investors, Hawaii has become not just a tourist destination but a hotspot for economic exchange.

L.A. Koreana Inc., owned by the Seoul Koreana Hotels & Resorts, purchased the Hawaii Kai Golf Course and the Polynesian Plaza boutique hotel in Waikiki earlier this year.

The California-based company, which already owned the Mililani Golf Club in Central Oahu and the Ewa Beach Golf Club in West Oahu, bought the Kai course for a reported $20.5 million, according to PBN.

Mirae Asset, a financial group headquartered in Seoul, purchased Big Island’s Fairmont Orchid hotel in March for an estimated $200 million.

Meanwhile, Korean construction giants are looking toward the islands to develop property — following a 45-story condominium project in Kapiolani by POSCO, Hanhwa Engineering & Construction is the midst of transforming a luxury condo into rental units, slated for completion next June.

In December, tourism exchange between Korea and Hawaii is expecting another boost with the introduction of low-cost Korean airline Jin Air into Hawaii.

The Korean-owned Ohana Pacific Bank is reportedly preparing an alliance with Korean banks to provide streamlined services to customers as well.

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