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FTC to make regulations ‘more predictable’

Nov 30,2017
The Korean antitrust agency chief, Kim Sang-jo, stressed that the government will be making regulatory policies “more predictable,” not only to reduce compliance costs but also to boost the business environment particularly for foreign businesses.

During a forum organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (Amcham) on Wednesday, the Korean Fair Trade Commission chairman said that foreign business expenditure for legal advice seems to result from ambiguous regulations.

“Because the [cost-related] regulations are not well organized, companies are burdened with legal counsel related to the [Korean] government, the KFTC and the prosecutors’ office,” Kim said. “This reality in Korea is certainly inefficient and I believe such costs should not be increased.”

He said he strongly believed that the business environment can only be normalized when the costs that are spent on compliance are transferred to actual costs that benefit both the company and the related parties such as expenses on labor and complying to environmental regulations rather than focused on legal counsel.

Kim’s comment came after Jeffery Jones, Amcham’s Board of Governors chairman, told Kim that American businesses, which are working hard to convince their headquarters to increase investment in Korea, are facing difficulty due to rising compliance costs.

The FTC chairman also said the government will apply strict penalties to those that try to take advantage of looser regulations that allow other organizations, including the local government to pursue antitrust cases.


BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]