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An Interview With the New FKI Chairman

Posted March. 21, 2007 07:12,   


“I will do my best to draw one voice from businesses so that sound policies can be adopted for a business-friendly environment,” said Cho Seok-rae (age 72), the president of Hyosung Group. He was chosen as the 31st president of the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) at a temporary general meeting of the FKI held in the hall of the FKI in Yeouido, Seoul yesterday.

Shortly after assuming the two-year term position, he met with reporters and said, “I will do whatever I can in my position and help the federation transform itself so that it will receive praise from the general public.

The following is taken from the question and answer session held after the meeting.

Q- Do you think the federation should be reformed?

A- “Reform is always needed for development. Just as a society needs reform to advance, so does the federation. We should dispel rumors concerning the FKI, such as ‘the organization cannot make its own voice,’ or ‘its members are passive or not united with each other.’”

Q- “Some point out that the FKI has been reduced to being a spokesman of big companies.”

A- “I beg to differ. But if people really think like that, there may be fault. We will reflect the opinion of our member firms by further communicating with them.”

Q- “One of the big problems of the federation is low participation by the four major corporations. Do you have any plans to raise the low participation rate?”

A- “Our member companies should join hands to realize the policies that we want. If the four big companies join us, we will be more powerful. So, we will make all-out efforts to attract them. Also, I am going to gather the opinions of the chairmen of the FKI. To do so, I will meet with them at least two to three times a month.”

Q-“Which regulations should be eased to create a business-friendly environment?

A-“I haven’t deeply thought about it. But advanced systems or rules are essential for South Korea to join the ranks of advanced nations. It should adopt systems or rules to adhere to the global standards.”

Q-“Where do you stand on the plan to impose a ceiling on the total equity investment system?”

A-“Before talking about whether the system should be abolished or not, we should know why the system was adopted and what other countries are doing to deal with their equity investment. But if the system is required by our nation’s business environment, I think, we should accept it.”

Q-Can you disclose which candidates for the upcoming presidential election you support?

A-“The FKI exists for developing a liberal market economy. I will say to the candidates, ‘let’s do something for it.’ Of course, I have my favorite candidate, but it is not a good idea to officially support him right now.”

Q-Sooner or later, you are going to meet President Roh Moo-hyun as the head of the Korean business circle. What will you say to him first?

A-“Of course, the only thing I will ask him for is help for companies to do their business well. I will ask him to make a good environment for businesses so that they can work freely and creatively.”

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