The government called for the Korean textile industry to refrain from shutting down or relocating Korean plants abroad. In return, the industry appealed for the government to take counter-measures to recoup additional burden the likes of a rise in the minimum wage, a cut in working hours, and a rise in electricity charges.
Minister Paik Woon-gyu of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) presided over a consultative meeting on win-win collaboration between management and labor with textile company representatives in Seoul Palace Hotel in Seoul on Aug. 11. Kyungbang Chairman Kim Joon and Chonbang Chairman Cho Kyu-ok participated in the meeting.
Kyungbang Co. and Chonbang, Korea’s representative textile companies, are considering shutting down their plants in Korea or relocating them abroad. Judging that raising the minimum wage to 7,530 won per hour next year is hard for the company to endure, Kyungban has decided to move half of its cotton yarn plant in Gwangju to Vietnam. The company also announced a plan to shut down all six Korean plants when a law requiring the maximum working hour to be cut to 52 hours from the current 68 hours is put into force.
Minister Paik said, “(The government) is fully aware of the many difficulties the textile industry experiences.” He noted that the government plans to aggressively provide full support to ensure innovative growth of the textile industry. He introduced strategies to promote the development of the industry, including the development of value-added products, including high-functional, and high-performance textiles, and nurture textile and fashion production and research manpower. Lim Soong-soon, director in charge of labor standards policies at the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL), gave an explanation on the purpose of a rise in the minimum wage.
A poster of the 7th ASEM Economic Ministers’ Meeting, to be held in Seoul from Sept. 21 to 22.
Korea’s Flawless Preparations for Hosting of 7th ASEM Economic Ministers’ Meeting in Sept.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) held a briefing session to economic officers at foreign embassies stationed in Korea at the Coex in Seoul on June 29 on preparations of Korea’s hosting of the 7th Asia-Europe Summit (ASEM) Economic Ministers’ Meeting slated for Sept. 21-22 in Seoul.
More than 30 economic officers at foreign embassies in Korea participated in the session. They got a briefing on the progress of Korea’s preparations for the hosting of the ASEM ministerial confab as well as major programs, and side events. The participants toured the grand ballroom on the first floor of COEX, the venue of the ASEM ministerial meeting.
The 7th ASEM ministerial meeting, to be resumed in 12 years, will take up ways of cope with trade and investment environment changes in the wake of the recent spreading protectionist trade moves and the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
The MOTIE is fleshing out three agendas facilitating and spurring of trade and investments, the strengthening of economic connectivity, and sustainable development and inclusive growth based on the outcomes of the 13th ASEM Senior Officials’ Meeting on Trade and Investment (ASEM SOMTI) held in Seoul in April.
The plenary session of the 7th ASEM ministerial meeting will take place in the morning and the afternoon of Sept. 22, and a preparation session of regional meetings will slated for Sept. 21 one day earlier.
The ministerial meeting will also coincide with the 14th Asia-Europe Economic Forum (AEEF), the 3rd Global Eco-Innovation Forum, and the 2nd ASEF Young Leaders Summit. About 100 experts, including economists, in the Asian-European region will take part in the 14th ASEF Forum, organized by an ASEEF consortium supported by the Asia-Europe Foundation.
The 3rd Global Eco-Innovation Forum will bring together roughly 100 environment and economic experts in the region. The forum, designed to promote cooperation in eco-friendly growth, is organized by the ASEM SEMs Eco-Innovation Center.