Strong Resolve to Invigorate Economy

The 37th Commerce & Industry Day observed with strong determination to overcome economic crisis and spur growth













The 37th Commerce and Industry Day was observed in a ceremony held at Coex in southern Seoul March 17 with some 1,000 people attending led by Prime Minister Chung Un-chan and Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, other heads of economic organizations and business executives.
Prime Minister Chung, in his commemorative speech, asked the business community to make daring and pre-emptive investments in businesses to create jobs and help Korea to rise up to be a first-rate country in the world. "We cannot rest on our past glory as international competition has been getting intensified among countries in Northeast Asia with Japan and China doing their best to push their economies to grow faster by expanding exports," the prime minister said. Japan tries to continue to lead others, while China doing is best to catch up with others and pull ahead, he said.
The government has taken up job creation as its foremost priority in its policies for this year considering that the employment conditions have been getting worse due to the economic slump sweeping the country and the world. The government has been working to create jobs through diversified programs such as the Hope Working Project, the Youth Intern System and the Employment Recovery Project, among others for those who are looking for employment.
The prime minister also stressed that the government will strengthen competitiveness of SMEs and expand investments in the green industry, a future growth engine, adding that businesspeople should also new investments looking at future far down the road.
At the ceremony, 236 business executives received medals, citations and prizes including 16 getting medals and prizes, 15 presidential citations and others recognitions for their meritorious achievements in lines of their work.
Chairman Koh Young-lip of Hwasung Group won the Industrial Merit Gold Medal for his achievement in reviving the grou's 11 affiliates from their near bankruptcy in the wake of the financial crisis through restructuring so that the group was able to recapture its vitality enough to be counted among the world's top business groups. The top CEO divided up the group into four major smaller groups such as auto parts production, integrated trading, sports-fashion brand business and precision chemical division under his selection and concentration management ways. As a result of the successful restructuring, the group came to have eight affiliates at home and 14 overseas with annual sales this year to reach 3.5 trillion won. His daring insights to inroads into overseas paid off handsome results making the group truly a global concern, expecting to do their shares to double the group's annual sales by 2015.
Also, cited with the Industrial Merit Gold Medal was Vice Chairman Kim Yong-hwan of Hyundai Motor Co. for his role in expanding the market share of the U.S. car market to 7 percent by both Hyundai and Kia motors, despite the economic slump sweeping the United States and putting them to rank the 5th largest auto makers in the world, making a huge contribution to the development of Korea? auto industry.
As a top manager for Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, he has made a huge contribution to the group's expansion at home and overseas with his far-sighted and aggressive vision for the group's expansion. He reformed the group's corporate culture, structure, cost reduction, strengthening its competitive power by making all levels of the group from executives and factory hands to have firm understanding for the group's operation targets and challenging spirit.
In particular, he has been given credit for the automakers superb performance in the U.S. car market amid the economic slump to expand its share of the market to 7 percent, making a good use of his ability to run the company and strong push for his strategies.
Those that got the silver medals included Chairman Yoon Young-kak of KPMG Group who developed his own plans to revive business firms on the verge of going out of business, introduced an international accounting standard and the provision of support services, contributing to turning management environment into an advanced level. Vice Chairman Roh Yong-in also got the Industrial Merit Silver Medal for running Tongyang Cement Co. without labor problems including labor strikes for over 50 years since the launch of the company by introducing advanced management systems and outstanding achievements in R&D activities including the development of low heat-generating cement. nw

Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry gives a speech at the 37th Commerce and Industry Day anniversary.

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