Bolstering competitiveness

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Bolstering competitiveness

Current law prohibits citizens or groups from collecting donations at will. Donations are only permitted on 10 occasions, including natural disasters and philanthropic campaigns.

But the existing law on donations is expected to change drastically in two years at the earliest.

The Ministry of Government Legislation, which is under the Prime Minister’s office, announced Tuesday that it plans to revise the law. The proposed revision would legalize many types of donations, with the exception of political campaigns, religious activities and for-profit activities.

The government’s action seems belated, as the Lee Myung-bak administration pledged to revise the law during the election campaign three years ago.

Still, it is a ground-breaking decision.

We have a profusion of regulations that has proven burdensome for the country, particularly because it gnaws at our nation’s competitiveness in the global arena.

In fact, our economy has always been ranked poorly in the national competitiveness rankings issued by the International Institute for Management Development or World Economic Forum. It is hard to dispute the argument that our low position in the rankings comes from the government’s excessive regulation of business activities.

Governments always shout about easing regulations, to no avail.

But if you change the criteria, it is possible for regulations to be eased.

Relaxed regulations will alleviate citizens’ inconvenience, reduce tax waste and promote business activities, making it easier for entrepreneurs to set up new firms or enter a new market. It can also help to deter corruption in both the private and public sectors as government influence dwindles.

But the process has only just begun and we should carry this idea into other parts of society.

The government has already switched 200 ordinances out of 372 involving regulation, but it should do the same for the rest of the ordinances as well.

Stiff regulation on the inflow of civilian and foreign capital into the domestic market should be eliminated as well, particularly in the service sector, including the medical and educational fields, to bolster our national competitiveness and promote the development of new industry.

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