Go to contents

Political Warfare While the Local Economy is Dying

Posted November. 26, 2004 22:56,   


On November 26, the chairmen body of the 69 nationwide local Chambers of Commerce and Industry expressed, “The local economy is dying,” and urged, “political circles should immediately cease political warfare and start reviving the local economy.”

This is the first time in the 120-year history of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) since the Hanseong Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1884, that the representatives of the local commerce and industries, in union, appealed for the resurrection of the local economy, signifying the current gravity of the difficulties.

On this day, the chairmen body of the nationwide local chambers held an emergency press conference at the Lotte Hotel in Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul and communicated to the public the reality of the local economy and publicized an associated proposal, proposing five items: the immediate halt of political warfare, the enforcement of policies with the focus on economic recovery, the easing of real estate regulations such as the total cancellation of overheating real estate speculation areas and the withdrawal of the construction cost publication debate, the reduction of corporate and income taxes for small-scale distribution and service businesses, and maturity extensions and repayment postponement for local businesses.

At this press conference, six chairmen of the local chambers, Daegu Chamber Chairman Roh Hee-chan, Gwangju Chamber Chairman Ma Haeng-ryul, Daejeon Chamber Chairman Kim Joo-il, Suwon Chamber Chairman Wu Bong-jae, Yeosu Chamber Chairman Park Yong-ha, and Jeju Chamber Chairman Gang Young-seok participated as representatives of the chairmen body of the local chambers.

The body of the chairmen pointed out, “The rate of local dishonored bills for this year’s third quarter (July to September) is 0.14 percent, approximately five times that of Seoul’s (0.03 percent), and local companies account for 64 percent of the national bankrupt companies,” and added, “The cornerstone of the local economy, the construction, distribution and service businesses, are close to collapsing.” They also added, “If the local economy isn’t revived by the end of the year, the peak season for domestic demand, due to the deterioration of the financial market, the local economy will no longer be able to be sustained,” and expressed the imminent crisis.

The chairmen body intensely criticized the political circles and the government, “Even though the local economy is in the worst situation, political circles are raising unreasonable political warfare and fostering a division within the public opinion, and the government is not arranging appropriate countermeasures.”

After the press conference, the KCCI held a representative plenary session and selected a proposal of the chairmen body of the local chambers at a KCCI level and submitted the proposal to Cheong Wa Dae, policy committee chairmen of the ruling, opposition and the third party, and to each ministry of the government such as the Ministry of Finance and Economy, the Ministry of Construction and Transportation, and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy.

Keuk-In Bae bae2150@donga.com