The business organization will invest more to help get the economy back on track and create jobs by aiding industries in distress
Chairman Huh Chang-soo of the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) presides
over the economic organization's first meeting in the new year at Lotte Hotel in Seoul, on Jan. 10.
Chairman Huh Chang-soo of the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), at the business organization’s first regular meeting of the year held at the Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul on Jan. 10, said shipbuilding, steel and construction have been struggling with a downturn and need the help of the business community to maintain their current employment levels.
The powerful business organization’s chairman said investments are needed as business trends grow worse, which will also spur the resurgence of the economy and create jobs while new growth engines may be discovered in the process.
Huh added that investments should be made in the industries whose potential to create jobs is high and a study will follow to determine the priority industries for investments in cooperation with the government.
He also said it is pertinent to assess the measures needed to help the industries hit hardest by the economic downturn, such as shipbuilding, steel and construction, to keep their workers intact with the support of the government.
FKI officials said the government can help those industries in distress by providing policy loans and tax breaks and other means so the companies can do their best to fight off the downturn and keep their employees.
They recalled that President-elect Park Geun-hye, at a meeting with top executives of FKI member firms, said the incoming government will also extend its hand to large firms in economic distress, not just SMEs.
The Chairman’s Group of the FKI has agreed to create a business management charter for self-regulation of cooperative firms, consumers, and workers in jointly promoting economic democratization. Sources close to the FKI cited the Japanese example of Keidanren’s business management charter for the self-regulation of ethical business management in principle and the FKI is engaged in drawing up an outline of a similar charter.
The FKI has also decided to reform and expand the Ethics Management Committee and operate an ethics management academy for officials of cooperative firms of FKI members.
The FKI has also decided to increase the support funds to SMEs above last year’s 1.8 trillion won by expanding support in such areas as the stabilization of SMEs’ operations, R&D activities for the development of technology to enhance their competitiveness, the purchase of raw material, the issuance of credit guarantees, and support for them to take out loans. The FKI will also seek realistic measures to boost the economy of poor people, including alley stores.
“Enterprises will make all-out efforts to meet the people’s expectations. If there were somewhat wrong practices, we will bravely and drastically improve them,” the FKI chairman said in his New Year’s message. “And we will pay more attention to fulfilling corporate social responsibility for the alienated social stratum, shared growth with subcontractors, and transparent management coinciding with global standards. Ultimately, we will try to win back the love and confidence of the people.
“There are no signs of a quick recovery this year. Protectionism in major export markets is getting much stronger than ever before. The conflicts with neighboring countries triggered by North Korea’s nuclear program are escalating into a serious problem, putting Northeast Asia on shaky ground. It is high time we were armed with a resolute will to survive the crisis and turn it into a great opportunity,” the chairman urged.
“The business community will take the initiative in tiding over the economic crisis and do its level best. Based on entrepreneurship, we will go all-out to expand investment and create jobs. We will also strive to secure a new global market by aggressively investing in the next-generation growth engines,” Huh said.