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Professor Jang Ha-sung Criticizes President’s Leadership

Professor Jang Ha-sung Criticizes President’s Leadership

Posted June. 04, 2005 06:44,   


Jang Ha-sung (professor at business administration, Korea university), the head of the Economy Democratization Committee of the PSPD (People’s Solidarity of Participatory Government) who has taken the lead in upholding the rights of minority stakeholders and reforming chaebol, criticized the leadership of President Roh Moo-hyun, saying that the president is to blame for the sluggish economy since he has failed to properly manage the economy, lacks a strategy for future economic growth, and does not have the ability to put an economic vision into practice.

Jang said that “even though Korea has boundless growth potential in the competitive manufacturing and service sectors, the political leader fails to make good use of these advantages,” at a lecture with the theme of corporate governance and competitiveness held at the Washington office of the BOK (Bank Of Korea).

He added that “It is time for us to end fruitless disputes over conservatism vs. liberalism and growth vs. distribution. We need leadership that focuses on the strategy that can take Korea to a higher level.”

Jang, a consultant of the International Investment Corporation under the World Bank, warned that “vested rights of rightists and exclusive leftists are doing harm to the economy by fanning the flames of false nationalism. If left unchecked, the economy will slip into a prolonged depression.”

“It seems that the confrontation between conservatives and liberals is getting worse. But what’s more worrisome is that rightists, who are accustomed to the government-led economy and chaebol dominance, and leftists, who are insensitive to global trends, are managing the economy in a manner that runs counter to the global trend,” he said.

He also said that “Korea is the only country that boasts of competitiveness in many manufacturing sectors, including automobiles, electronics, steel, shipbuilding, petrochemicals, and IT. It is hard to find a country that has competitiveness comparable to Korea’s. Therefore, we have to make good use of these excellent advantages and draw up growth strategy in this knowledge-based economic era.”

He pointed out Korea has failed to build forward-looking national consensus due to polarization between haves and have-nots and there is a loud call for arithmetic equality.

Soon-TaekKwon maypole@donga.com