President-elect Park Geun-hye said Wednesday that her government would seek to reform business laws and regulations for small- and medium-sized enterprises as a means to sustain growth that can be shared with and felt by everyone.
“The incoming government believes in the importance of promoting (the so-called) ‘warm growth’ that can reach all parts of the society,” said Park in a meeting with SME businesspeople and members of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
She added that her administration will aim to implement reliable policies that can establish an ecosystem in which small enterprises become mid-tier corporations then large companies.
|President-elect Park Geun-hye receives a bouquet from Sohn Kyung-shik, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as she visits the KCCI for a meeting with heads of small-and medium-sized companies in Seoul on Wednesday. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)|
Reducing the tax burden, supporting SME research and development and strengthening regulations against unfair practices by conglomerates are some of suggestions made by Park and her advisers.
Park said that she would root out three negative factors undermining the SME business environment ― unfairness in deals with big companies, market imbalance and unreasonable policies.
The president-elect has put issues concerning the growth of SMEs at the top of her transition team’s agenda alongside national defense as she seeks to promote economic democratization.
The transition team is scheduled to be briefed first by Korea’s Small & Medium Business Administration and the Ministry of National Defense this Friday.
Park, in return, urged KCCI members and executives to be socially responsible by hiring and investing in young people, as well as extending the retirement age.
“The best welfare for people is a job,” Park said. “Give as many opportunities as you can to the young, and let your employees work until retirement.”
Park added that she believes that job creation and SME sustainability can help Korea overcome economic obstacles ahead, citing a forecast that Korea will face difficulties in exports, the country’s main source of income.
The president-elect has been introducing a set of policies that aim to benefit SMEs and start-ups as a means to transform the country’s economic structure, which relied on conglomerates such as Samsung and Hyundai for growth.
Rather than issuing GDP growth targets during her presidency, Park has been more focused on ways to spur job growth.
She said that job creation will be able to mitigate the household debt problem that is further weighing on the Korean economy.
This is the fourth time for Park to meet a business-interest group, following her visits to the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business, the Korea Small Business Association and the Federation of Korean Industries since Dec. 26 when she started her official schedule as the president-elect.
By Park Hyong-ki (firstname.lastname@example.org