Posted January. 06, 2009 06:57,
Koreans are discouraged by recent developments at the National Assembly. It is high time that parliament plays its due role to help the people work hard and regain hope of economic revival.
Koreas five leading economic organizations the Federation of Korean Industries, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Korea Employers Federation, the Korea International Trade Association and the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business - released a joint statement in a news conference at the Korea Press Center in central Seoul yesterday.
They also urged the National Assembly to normalize its legislative role and deal with bills on the peoples daily lives and economic affairs.
In a letter delivered to the National Assembly, the five organizations said, Please pass pending bills on the peoples daily lives and economic affairs in the extra parliamentary session to help the economy recover as soon as possible.
They said priority goes to the motion to ratify the free trade agreement with the United States; a revised act on fair trade that includes removing limits on cross-shareholding; a change in banking law; and those related to media.
Exports play a pivotal role in boosting Koreas economy and the U.S. is Koreas most significant export market. There are no sound reasons to delay the ratification of Korea-U.S. FTA, which will benefit Korea, they added.
Only Korea is limiting cross-shareholding, and this prevents corporations from making further investments. The National Assembly should revise banking law to help banks invest more and secure equity capital.
On media-related bills, the five groups said, In Korea, the convergence of media is fundamentally impossible due to extremely high barriers in the media market. Thats why Koreas media industry has lost global competitiveness. If regulations on media-related bills are eased, more than 26,000 jobs will be created, especially for youths.
In a meeting with journalists in southern Seoul, Korea International Trade Association Chairman Lee Hee-beom said, Korean companies can export more if the Korea-U.S. FTA is passed. Unfortunately, politicians are abusing the FTA politically. Lawmakers should not approach the agreement from the perspective of party politics.
The Korea-U.S. FTA is not an issue related to a certain administration. Lawmakers listened to opinions from diverse sectors when Korea and the U.S. negotiated the deal. They should not make belated criticism.