S Korean business leaders call for more deregulation, aggressive investments in 2020

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ANN) – Amid forecasts of lower economic growth and harsher business conditions in 2020, South Korea’s business community is pushing to ease government regulations to stimulate aggressive investments and entrepreneurship, according to industry sources yesterday.

Heads of the country’s business lobby groups noted abandoning old regulations to seek new changes in 2020. The Federation of Korean Industries chief Huh Chang-soo said in his New Year’s address that future-oriented regulations are needed this new year.

“This is the time when a different framework should be built in a new way. Let everything move away from the starting point,” he said, adding that “we should abandon old regulations and come up with measures that can make a new way.”

Labour-related regulations, including a steep rise in the minimum wage and the 52-hour workweek system, are cited as major restraints for businesses in seeking their growth. Chairman of Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry Park Yong-maan said barriers due to vested interests, including laws and regulations, must be lifted. “It has become ordinary to see economic policies influenced by politics, but the society should prevent it. For the future of the country, this should be resolved through a transformation of the way of thinking, bringing nationwide sympathy to abandon old legislations, regulations and frameworks,” Park stressed.

The Korea Employers Federation Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik said in his New Year’s address that the environment must be first established for businesses to expand their investments and production. “We hope creating a favourable environment for businesses will become the priority mission of the administration, and also the policies help revitalise business operations,” said Sohn.