[EDITORIALS]Overcome anti-business biasThe vice minister of commerce, industry and energy yesterday held a meeting with representatives of five business-related organizations, including the Federation of Korean Industries, to find a way to “lessen anti-business sentiment.” The government had already held a meeting of related ministries with the aim of alleviating the problem. Recognizing the seriousness of the issue, the government arranged the meeting with the business community.
The anti-business feeling creates obstacles to business activities. According to a report in March by the Korea Institute of Industrial Economics and Trade, it was difficult for businessmen to demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit because of such sentiment. So, they moved businesses abroad, or delayed the establishment of new businesses. The antipathy toward businesses was no less heavy a burden on business activities than government regulations. According to a survey conducted by the Accenture consulting firm of chief executives in 22 countries, anti-business sentiment in Korea runs the highest.
It can be said that the primary responsibility for the antipathy rests with Korea’s economic development history and Korean businesses themselves. During the era of development dictatorship, large Korean businesses grew by colluding with politicians, and this history of growth is the root cause of antipathy. Also, some businesses that lost management transparency and legal or ethical fairness are an additional factor. The basic solution lies in securing social justification by managing businesses in a legal and ethical manner.
However, in our society nowadays, there is unfounded anti-business feeling, which is not based on the past but treats businessmen like criminals. Since the government and politicians introduced egalitarian policies that do not conform to a market economy, the anti-business sentiment has expanded. It is difficult to overcome it only through the effort of the business community.
It is time that the government stepped forward to dissolve anti-business sentiment. At the same time, the political community should concentrate its energy on encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit of businessmen and their creative activities. If business activities are shrunken due to anti-business sentiment, there is no hope in the future of our national economy.