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Conglomerates Back Pres. Lee’s ‘Co-prosperity’ Plan

Posted September. 14, 2010 11:32,   


The country’s major conglomerates have responded positively to the comments President Lee Myung-bak made in his meeting with CEOs of Korea’s largest businesses.

They said he made the proper requests by urging autonomous efforts by large companies to pursue co-prosperity with smaller companies.

Business groups were also relieved to hear President Lee saying he will not conduct “corrective inspections” in achieving his goal of a fair society.

Leaders of the country’s 12 largest conglomerates attending the meeting said the talks took place at a very timely moment and that they will carry out plans based on the outcome of the discussions.

Giving the introductory speech at the breakfast meeting, Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee pledged to take care of secondary and tertiary contractors. The company also said it will do its best to carry out the co-prosperity plans it has announced.

The LG Group said, “The meeting was meaningful in that we reached a consensus once again on the need for co-growth of large and small companies alike.”

Jung Byung-chul, vice chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries, said, “Eighty-three companies under the 30 biggest conglomerates will provide support funds worth 3.8 trillion won (3.2 billion U.S. dollars) to their subcontractors this year.”

Attendants had been worried over criticism against large businesses but said they were relieved that the meeting ended amicably. One CEO said, “We all agreed with President Lee’s intent that he will not link his fair society drive with corrective inspections. His suggestion of the creation of a voluntary corporate culture instead of the imposition of obligatory regulations was also reasonable.”

Skepticism rose, however, over solely blaming large companies for co-prosperity. A source at one conglomerate said, “We’re nervous because the president said small and mid-size companies cannot prosper because of large companies.”

Companies are keeping a close watch on whether President Lee’s comments will influence the government’s comprehensive co-prosperity plan to be announced soon.

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