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Blue House calls for town hall follow-up

President pushes staff to address all concerns raised at the gathering
Jan 17,2019
The Korean government will create a task force jointly with the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to adjust and improve regulations seen hindering business, while the Finance Ministry and the Industry Ministry will create a special team to manage large-scale investment projects.

Additionally, the government will come up with follow-up measures to its nuclear-power policies released in June 2018, including the establishment of an East Asia research center on the dismantling of nuclear power plants.

These announcements by the Blue House were made the day after a meeting was held on Tuesday with the heads of businesses, including the leaders of the top 25 conglomerates.

President Moon Jae-in invited 130 business representatives, including Samsung’s Lee Jae-yong, Hyundai Motor’s Chung Eui-sun, SK Group’s Chey Tae-won and LG Group’s Koo Kwang-mo, for a two-hour, town hall-style meeting.

According to Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom on Wednesday, President Moon told his staff to follow up on Tuesday’s discussions. Noh Young-min, Moon’s new chief of staff, told the president that he will not allow a single proposal made by the businessmen to be neglected.

“My administration has worked continuously with the ruling [Democratic] party on innovative regulations,” President Moon said in his closing statement in the meeting, which lasted two hours on Tuesday. “[But] there could be some disappointment at the rate [of regulatory changes].”

He said the government will form a task force with KCCI and review every single regulation so that actual progress can be made.

Moon said the government will actively cooperate so that Korean companies can achieve global competitiveness.

Also on Wednesday, President Moon told his economic secretary Yoon Jong-won to look into semiconductor investments and plant expansion.

“[SK Group] Chairman Chey Tae-won and Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong told me that the semiconductor market is more promising than widely believed,” Moon said during a meeting with his staff on Wednesday. “They told me that they plan to continue investing in semiconductors and expanding their plants as demand continues to grow and that [the recent decline in computer chip prices] was because semiconductor prices were exceptionally high in the past.”

Also as a follow up to Tuesday’s meeting, the government plans to come up with additional measures that would boost new industries - such as those future cars, bio and energy-related - while expanding the regulatory sandbox so that these new industries can achieve early commercialization.

The Blue House spokesman said while the Blue House is planning to hold a similar meeting with the labor community and representatives of small businesses, like restaurant owners, there is no specific date set yet.

“I don’t think we can set an exact date yet as the labor issue is somewhat complicated,” spokesman Kim said when asked if the meeting will happen after the Lunar New Year holidays.

President Moon plans on meeting with his top economic ministers at the Blue House on Jan. 23 to discuss the fair economy.

Those invited include Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki, Fair Trade Commission Chairman Kim Sang-jo and Financial Services Commission Chairman Choi Jong-ku.


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