[THE INVESTOR] President Moon Jae-in on July 27 held the first round of a two-day meeting with Korean corporate leaders, discussing economic policies and business issues.
The meeting comes as the government and the ruling party push for a tax hike on “super large companies” and high income individuals in its drive to reduce economic polarization.
The meeting took place in the gardens of the presidential office, with the president and the business leaders partaking in craft beer produced by a local small business.
Moon and the business leaders then retreated into a meeting to discuss the new government’s policy direction, as well as outstanding economic issues. At the meeting, Moon elaborated on his vision of “income led growth” and his ideas for job creation. Job creation has been one of Moon’s key agendas since the election campaign, and he has since installed a monitor displaying labor market figures in Cheong Wa Dae.
According to Cheong Wa Dae, the meeting lasted more than 2 hours, going far over the initially planned 50 minutes, with the president and attending businessmen freely exchanging views.
The meeting called together the chiefs and vice chiefs of some of the largest conglomerates, and Ottogi, a Korean food company.
The business leaders present at July 27’s meeting were vice chairmen Chung Eui-sun of Hyundai Motor, Koo Bon-joon of LG Group, Keum Choon-soo of Hanwha Group, Chung Yong-jin of Shinsegae Group, and chairmen Kwon Oh-joon of POSCO, Park Jeong-won of Doosan Group, Sohn Kyung-shik of CJ Group and Ham Young-joon of Ottogi.
At the meeting Hyundai Motor vice chairman also touched on China‘s economic reprisal over Seoul’s decision to deploy US missile defense system THAAD was cutting the company‘s sales in China, adding that the company will seek ways to cooperate with startup companies of Korea.
According to Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Park Soo-hyun, Doosan’s Park Jeong-won said expressed concerns for difficulties arising from Moon administration‘s nuclear free policy, which may put an end to Shin-Kori 5 and 6 reactors’ construction, but that the company will seek new revenue chanels overseas.
Although Ottogi ranks far below the other groups represented at the event, the food maker’s chief was invited in consideration of its efforts for providing equal opportunity to its workers. Alongside its ramen business, the company gained fame in recent years for its charitable activities and for hiring almost all of its workers on regular contracts. Of the company’s employees, about 1.1 percent are on irregular contracts.
Along with the business leaders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance Kim Dongyeon, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Paik Un-gyu and Chairman of the Financial Services Commission Choi Jong-ku attended the meeting.
Along with Moon administration’s top economic policy makers, Chairman of the Fair Trade Commission Kim Sang-jo, often referred to by the Korean media as the “chaebol sniper” was in attendance.
On July 28, the president will meet the representatives of seven conglomerates including SK Group, Samsung Group, and Hyundai Heavy Industries to wrap up the two day event.
By Choi He-suk/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)