Business transparencyPresident-elect Lee Myung-bak decided to put top priority on meeting business leaders today. This is meaningful on many levels.
Most of all, it is going to be a chance for Lee to show how determined he is to revive the economy. This is why Koreans voted for Lee, so his energies are well placed.
At the meeting, Lee intends to ask the leaders to invest and take a leading role in stimulating the economy.
It will be a good opportunity for the leaders themselves to see what promise the next administration holds. They will find out how Lee plans to create a favorable economic environment for business after years of anti-business sentiment and regulations.
We hope that this meeting becomes a first step in resurrecting our stagnant economy so that the less well off and younger Koreans can have a dream.
Because so much is at stake, the meeting should be more than a mere formality and an opportunity to exchange pleasant remarks.
Lee and the business community should speak frankly about what needs to be done.
Above all, Lee needs to ask the business community to invest, which is the first step in reviving the economy.
This is not to say he should force the business community to invest, as the authoritative government did.
The president-elect must be a salesman, attracting both business investment and foreign companies to establish themselves on Korean shores. He should listen to business leaders about what has hindered investment in the past and what they really want.
The business community and Lee should put their heads together to decide how to increase investment.
The business leaders must explain in detail what is necessary to expand investment and which regulations should be abolished first. They must ask for President-elect Lee’s understanding and cooperation.
The business community should also promise that they will improve their competitiveness and transparency by themselves.
They should not just ask for deregulation in exchange for investment but should reflect on and reform themselves to win the country’s support.
The time has gone when meetings between political powers and big business meant corrupt, behind-the-scenes dealings. That period must not return.
The biggest present businesses can give President-elect Lee is not a bribe but transparent management and aggressive investment.