Business signs on for ‘industrial innovation 3.0’

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Business signs on for ‘industrial innovation 3.0’

The government and business leaders have agreed to push ahead with the “industrial innovation 3.0” campaign to improve corporate productivity to combat the weak Japanese yen and unfavorable economic conditions.

In a breakfast meeting yesterday with five business lobby groups, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Yoon Sang-jick suggested adopting so-called “industrial innovation 3.0,” which would go beyond shared growth among large companies and SMEs and seek to improve the business management environment and manufacturing process of chaebol’s secondary and tertiary subcontractors.

Current shared growth strategy is centered on helping chaebol’s primary subcontractors, and industrial innovation 3.0 aims to spread the wealth, according to the ministry.

“With concern about our economy being affected by the weakening Japanese yen continues, both the government and economic players need to cope up with the issue with a sense of crisis,” said Yoon. “Given that the government has announced a package of measures to boost exports and investment, now is the time for business circles to make efforts to strengthen the fundamentals of corporate competitiveness.”

A task force overseeing industrial innovation will be established under the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry this month. The government and businesses have agreed to push ahead with the innovation 3.0 spirit first to electronics, automobile and machinery sectors.

“SMEs should continue their own efforts for improving productivity and producing high-value-added products,” said Han Jung-hwa, administrator of the Small and Medium Business Administration. “Conglomerates and their primary subcontractors need to make extra efforts to achieve co-prosperity so that SMEs’ improvement in productivity will enhance profitability.”

Sohn Kyung-shik, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said businesses will work closely with the ministry to ensure that the campaign has a broad reach.

A study by the Federation of Korean Industries released in April showed that companies’ operating profit dips 1.1 percent when the won-yen exchange rate goes down 10 percent.

Meanwhile, the lobby groups’ leaders called on the government to ease regulations regarding labor and the environment, which they say are likely to discourage investment.

Yoon of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said he will ensure that companies’ investment and employment will not be interrupted by the government’s “economic democratization,” while emphasizing “it is a trend that you cannot go against.”

The government is set to announce a package of measures tailored to each industry to address the weakening Japanese currency by the end of the month.

By Kim Mi-ju []
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