Park attends launch of new FKI headquarters

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Park attends launch of new FKI headquarters

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President Park Geun-hye, accompanied by Federation of Korean Industries Chairman Huh Chang-soo, is greeted by members of the FKI yesterday at the organization’s new headquarters in Yeouido, southwest Seoul. [Joint Press Corps]

President Park Geun-hye yesterday met members of the Federation of Korean Industries for the first time since her inauguration.

Park attended a launch ceremony of the newly built Federation of Korean Industries headquarters, relocated in Yeouido, southwest Seoul. The event was attended by executives of the country’s major conglomerates and other big businesses.

The president’s visit grabbed attention due to the fact that her father, late President Park Chung Hee, had planned to attend the opening ceremony of the FKI’s former headquarters in November 1979 but failed to as he was assassinated on October 26.

At the ceremony, Park pledged support on research and development (R&D) for businesses.

“As for R&D investment, please suggest ideas about shared roles between the government and private sector,” Park said. “It is important to be first in eco-friendly technologies related to the development of cars, batteries, a smart grid and new materials.”

The president also said the country’s effort to cut carbon emissions can be a burden for companies, but this can be overcome by developing technologies. “This will create a new market and make Korean businesses capable of pioneering into new markets,” she added.

FKI Chairman Huh Chang-soo said in his speech that the business community will take a leading role in achieving a creative economy and opening a happy era for the people.

“The FKI has been contributing for the past 50 years to achieving the country’s economic growth out of nothing to make it the eighth-largest trader and 15th biggest economy in the world,” Huh said. “But the economy is at a crossroads and in need of a new vision for the next 100 years.”

“By 2030, Korea has a goal to become the world’s 10th-largest economy with $5 trillion in GDP and $100,000 in per capita GDP,” the FKI chairman said.

Members of the organization promised new investment next year to buttress the government’s efforts to build a creative economy.

Samsung, for example, plans to invest more than 50 trillion won ($47.5 billion) next year. It also plans to make a 1.5 trillion won investment in IT and basic science over the next 10 years.

SK plans to pour 1.2 trillion won into the research and development of a smart grid and the energy management and IT sectors.

Including the FKI chairman, LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo, Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin, Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho, Doosan Group Chairman Park Yong-maan and Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-goo attended the ceremony.


BY SONG SU-HYUN [ssh@joongang.co.kr]

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