Biz groups wag fingers at politicians

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Biz groups wag fingers at politicians

Representatives of five business associations yesterday criticized politicians for their anti-conglomerate sentiment and excessive pledges of new welfare spending ahead of the general election next month.

The five groups - the Korea International Trade Association, the Federation of Korean Industries, the Korea Employers Federation, the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business and the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry - issued a joint statement at a regular conference of the associations at the Plaza Hotel in central Seoul.

The leaders of the five groups said that politicians should refrain from pandering for votes.

They said campaign pledges should carefully consider the financial situation of the nation and the costs of such promises.

“Profligate welfare pledges will undermine people’s desire to work and will result in imposing a tremendous financial burden on the next generation,” the leaders said.

Politicians were also condemned for not taking a consistent stand on free trade agreements.

“It is undermining political consistency that only the Korea-U.S. FTA has been a center of controversy among the eight FTAs Korea has,” the leaders said.

The leaders also said excessive criticism of conglomerates should stop because they could “impede investments which will hinder job creation.”

“Because the political arena has kept harping on the negative side of big companies, it makes it harder for the companies to compete in the global market,” said Kim Young-bae, vice chairman of the KEF.

The leaders of the five groups included Chairmans Han Duk-soo of KITA, Sohn Kyung-shik of KCCI and Lee Hee-beom of KEF.


By Lee Ga-young, Lee Sun-min [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]

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