Korea Inc. tells gov't to give more support to EVs
The chiefs of Korea’s biggest business lobbying groups asked for more aggressive government support for companies trying to cut their carbon emissions during a meeting with Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki.
Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Chey Tae-won requested compensation for the costs required to research and develop carbon reducing technologies, citing examples in the United States and Europe.
“Carbon neutrality is an irreversible trend that defines the fate of industry, and comes with opportunities for new businesses,” Chey said during the meeting.
“An astronomical amount of investment is being made in the U.S. and EU and we hope that [the Korean government] will be well-positioned in the race by providing aggressive investment and full support,” he said.
Chey went on to highlight the hardships facing companies trying to go carbon neutral, adding that eco-friendly techniques such as carbon capture technology and hydrogen-based steel manufacturing process requires a great deal of expenditure.
“Such techniques can’t be developed by a single company and cooperation between public institutions and private companies is essential,” Chey said.
Chey also raised the need to increase subsidies to boost sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and build infrastructure for them.
“Germany keeps on expanding subsidies for electric vehicles whereas Korea often see the subsidies running out faster than expected or being delayed,” he noted.
Chey said a dearth of charging stations makes EVs less attractive, suggesting that the government shell out more to build the infrastructure.
Local media outlets speculated that Chey would bring up the subject of a pardon for Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong, who will be released on parole on Friday, but the issue was not covered in his speech.
Also attending were Sohn Kyung-shik, chairman of the Korea Enterprises Federation, Kim Ki-mun, chairman of the Korean Federation of SMEs and Kang Ho-gap, chairman of the Federation of Middle Market Enterprises of Korea.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]