[Letter to the editor]Companies have social responsibilitiesThe words “free trade agreement” are often heard these days. Due to technological developments in transportation and communication, the world is becoming more and more intertwined. One system that reduces the barriers caused by national boundaries is free trade. Free trade enables companies from many different countries to operate businesses in a wide range of countries; the influence that these companies have on different societies is increasing.
Some Koreans have been strongly protesting the free trade agreement with the United States for years, out of concern for citizens who would suffer disadvantages. However, since the negotiations are over, it is important to look at the role and the missions of these companies in the global society, under free trade.
Under the free-trade system, companies can exert influence on countries and their relationships more effectively than governments in the globalizing era.
A country with strong companies is likely to become more competitive in global society ,as these companies inform the citizens of foreign countries.
The companies can leave positive images in other countries when doing business there, and can make the relationships with other countries better.
Companies play a big role in developing and spreading the technology of a country, as well as its culture.
The influence of culture in global society is bigger than ever. Culture can promote national interests.
Companies in the global era earn income for Korean society by exporting to other countries. Free trade enables countries to export and import without the limitations of tariffs. Companies bring their profits from foreign countries to their own country. Producers of the exporting countries and the consumers of the importing countries will get benefit from trading. It’s a win-win situation for both sides.
As the amount of money in the society increases, the citizens income will get higher as well. With increased incomes, the amount of taxes that the government receives will likewise increase.
Because companies play such a big role in society, they should support the Korean economy. Many companies hide their income from the government, intending to make even more profit out of their business.
The government collects taxes and distributes their benefits. Taxes must be turned in so that benefits can reach the citizens more effectively.
In addition, the Korean market can become more prosperous through active development and participation of companies in the world market. Since the role of companies is huge in the economy, if the companies do well, the economy will also benefit. On the other hand, if companies are in jeopardy, the whole Korean economy will be shaky as well.
Companies should think about the weakening power of government and the social problems that arise from globalization, and try to help solve the problems.
The influence of government on society is getting smaller due to the increasing power of companies under the free trade system. The changing status of these two important actors is expected to cause confusion and many changes to society. The companies should therefore try to participate in solving social problems as well. Cooperation between companies and the government is essential in solving such social problems.
For the future of Korea, companies should be willing to give aid for education to train students to become future world leaders. Educating students is an important key to become more competitive in the global society.
Companies should be willing to give financial support to students who are unable to afford a good education. Emphasizing education for global leaders is an effective way to bring success to Korea.
People who receive aid are more likely to repay society after they succeed, and society will thus benefit from those individuals.
Kim Yun-ji, Bundang, Seongnam, Gyeonggi province