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Business Circle Welcomes South-North Summit

Posted August. 09, 2007 05:58,   


On August 8, business organizations such as the Federation of Korean Industries, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Korea International Trade Association all released comments that “the South-North summit will contribute greatly to the revitalization of the economy” and welcomed the summit.

“We expect the South-North summit to become a new milestone in the relations between the two Koreas,” wrote the Federation in a public statement. “We economic actors think that geopolitical risk will be eliminated and the recovery of economy will be stimulated if this summit results in the creation of peaceful mood in this region.”

The chamber wrote, “We hope this 2nd summit will contribute not only to the soothing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula through solving the nuclear problem, but also to the settlement of peace in Northeast Asia in the long run. We also hope, in an economic perspective, that the investment into North Korea will become safer, and the summit will broaden South-North economic cooperation, such as the development of North Korea’s resources and social overhead capital investment.”

The association expressed expectations for tangible results, such as the full utilization of South-North roads and railways. It wrote, “We hope that the summit will lead to more inter-Korean trade and provide a new milestone for economic cooperation through the Gaesong Industrial Complex by fulfilling the four major points of the Economic Cooperation Agreement: open accounting, the prevention of double taxation, guarantees for investment, and dispute settlement by arbitration.”

The Federation of Small and Medium Business wrote, “If the nuclear issue of North Korea is solved quickly and peace established on the Korean Peninsula through the South-North summit, it will become the basis for another economic leap. The Gaesong Industrial Complex project, one of the representative South-North economic cooperation projects, will especially be revitalized with the summit and completion of the selection of enterprises to move into the main complex.”

Regardless of the public comments, however, some raise worrying voices about the timing of the summit.

“The summit was expected to some extent, but one cannot erase the feeling that it was hurriedly settled for political reasons. It might not bear any fruits for enterprises because it is being held at a point of time not far from the presidential election,” said a business expert.

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