Park tells big business to stay out of food trucks

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Park tells big business to stay out of food trucks

President Park Geun-hye yesterday warned large companies not to take advantage of the government’s easing of regulations on food trucks.

The whole idea was to help small-fry entrepreneurs, she said.

In a regular meeting with her senior secretaries, the president stressed the three pillars of her three-year economic innovation plan: reform of the public sector, removal of unnecessary regulations and fostering the service sector. She said these initiatives must be accelerated to give the Korean economy a future.

“A few days ago, some media outlets reported that large companies are scrambling to launch food trucks in the wake of the easing of related regulations, totally defying the purpose of the measure,” Park said. “Large companies making a foray into such subsistence-oriented businesses is not desirable.”

She was referring to a report on MBC, one of three major TV stations, on May 31 that reported that large companies and department stores were bracing to start franchise businesses with food trucks.

The president stressed that relaxing the rules was done to allow more entrepreneurs to get into the food truck business, thus helping ordinary people make a living and create more jobs.

To demonstrate its seriousness about weeding out unnecessary regulations, the government on March 20 held its first public discussion forum. President Park presided over the forum and 140 ministers, government officials, entrepreneurs and experts joined in.

Bae Young-gi, chief executive of Doorione Food and Franchise, a food truck manufacturer, raised the food truck issue, claiming the business was ideal for creating jobs for young entrepreneurs struggling to find work. The business is currently illegal.

Following the forum, the government lifted or eased 41 regulations, including on authentication certificates for financial transactions on the Internet.

The operation of food trucks went against regulations by two different ministries. After the forum, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport agreed to amend the Automobile Management Act so that vehicles with at least 0.5 square meters (5.3 square feet) of freight space would be allowed to be used as food trucks.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety pledged to revise the Food Hygiene Act by July so that the right to serve food - now only allowed to ordinary restaurants, bakeries and snack bars - will also be given to food trucks. But the venue of their operation will still be limited to amusement parks, theme parks and ski resorts, which total around 350 nationwide, according to government data.


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