Business groups urge Moon to revive economy, cut regulations
By Cho Chung-un, Julie Jackson
10 May 2017

SEOUL (The Korea Herald/ANN) - The business community in Korea urged a newly appointed president to remove unnecessary regulations and revitalise nation's economy. 

Business groups in South Korea sent congratulatory messages to President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday, urging the new leader to rejuvenate the nation’s economy by eradicating unnecessary regulations and normalising the government’s role in the face of rising protectionism.

The foreign business community in Korea urged continued close ties and economic partnerships in the import and export sectors, expressing the hope that the new administration would boost efforts to establish more transparent policies when dealing with non-Korean companies. 

“President-elect Moon Jae-in, we believe in your strong leadership to implement changes which are fair and transparent, that further enhance the security and confidence of Korea’s economy,” said Dimitris Psillakis, the chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Korea. 

“Europe and Korea have long been close economic partners and I believe this partnership will continue to strengthen to ensure prosperity of our nations in the years ahead,” he continued. “I look forward to your further contribution for a better society with (a) stronger and growing economy in the future.”

James Kim, the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea and CEO of GM Korea, said, “You and your administration should feel confident that AmCham is here to help in any way possible.”

“As the largest foreign chamber and ‘go-to’ organisation for Korean and American stakeholders operated here in Korea nearly 65 years, we will be here for another 65 years and we look forward to working with your administration.”

Calling for change and unity, Korean business lobby groups, which represent thousands of large and small companies in Korea, urged Moon to create a new business environment in which fairness and the principles of a free market are revived. 

“Businesses are pinning hopes for the (new) president to open the new chapter of a dynamic economy by renewing the atmosphere (and fostering) the value of fairness, innovation and unity,” said the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Korean conglomerates, a major force that drives the economy here, have been suffering from the scandal that led to the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye, as it shed light on the decades of collusive ties between politics and businesses. 

The Korea International Trade Association, a major group representing Korean exporters, also urged Moon to normalise the government in order to better deal with trade protectionism rising from the US and Europe.

“Internally, Korea is facing serious problems with youth unemployment, and externally, the Trump administration’s strengthening protectionist move, and diplomatic and security concerns over the deployment of a US anti-missile system and North Korea’s nuclear test,” said KITA in a statement. 

“In this critical time, the new president should normalise the government, fill the leadership vacuum and step up efforts to tackle both internal and external concerns.”

The trade association also urged the new president to create a business-friendly environment so Korean companies can develop creative and new products as well as compete with their rivals in global markets. 

“The policy tasks that the new government must address, including national security, will not be possible without strong economic power. And this all depends on the global market competitiveness of Korean companies,” said Kim In-ho, CEO of the Korea International Trade Association.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Korean Industries, which had suffered from its involvement in the scandal, vowed to rectify its past wrongdoings. “(We will) focus on ways to create more jobs and promote investment for the future of the Korean economy,” it said.

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