Holds virtual teleconference negotiation sessions matching Korean raw material, parts and equipment mid-size superstars with potential European buyers
Chairman Kim Ki-mun of Korea Federation of SMEs (KBIZ).
Korea Federation of SMEs (KBIZ) will open regular online export negotiation rooms in which Korean SMEs, grappling with overseas market entry difficulties caused by the spread of COVID-19, can meet with potential foreign buyers on a regular basis.
Online export negotiation rooms on the third floor of the KBIZ headquarters in Yeouido, Seoul, are opened to SMEs free of charge from June 15.
They are outfitted with notebooks, webcams, TV monitors, microphones, and conference tables. Any SME is allowed to use the rooms for one-on-one or B2B collaboration negotiations.
Jun Hae-sook, head of Trade Promtion Department at KBIZ said, “Contactless online teleconference negotiation sessions will be arranged in cooperation with the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) to support exports of SMEs suffering from export difficulties, caused by the spread of COVID-19.”
As virtual export negotiation rooms are opened to provide support to overseas marketing in a post-COVID-19 era, SMEs are expected to proactively utilize them, Jun said.
Meanwhile, KBIZ will hold online teleconference negotiation sessions matching Korean raw material, parts and equipment mid-size superstars with European buyers between June 29 and July 10, depending on demand from SMEs grappling with the damages, caused by COVID-19. Similar teleconference negotiation sessions will be arranged according to the type of business and theme until the end of July.
KBIZ officials in Seoul talks with an official of KBIZ’s office in Vietnam while checking the preparatory work on teleconferences on June 15. (Photos: KBIZ)
SMEs Call for Freezing Minimum Wage Until 2021
A survey conducted by KBIZ and Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF) showed that 88.1 percent of respondents want minimum wage to be maintained at the current level until 2021, or lowered.
The findings were revealed after KBIZ and KEF jointly conducted a survey of 600 SMEs for 13 days from May 6.
According to the survey, 80.8 percent of the respondents said the minimum wage for 2021 should be frozen and 7.3 percent demanded the lowering of minimum wage.
Lee Tae-hee, head of KBIZ’s Smart Employment Division said, “SMEs are staging a desperate struggle to survive.”
Given the stark reality of the national economy and employment levels, coupled with the prediction of negative growth, Lee said it is desirable for labor, management and government to agree to freeze the minimum wage for next year by attaching top priority to retaining jobs rather than staging consumptive debates.
Ha Sang-woo, head of KEF’s Economy Survey Division, said companies are facing with continuous loss-taking management, caused by outside unavoidable factors.
Citing the fact that the real economy is predicted to be sluggish next year in the wake of the spread of COVID-18, he said, minimum wage for next year should be decided in consideration of the economic conditions and the need for prioritizing the retaining of jobs.