Warm Welcome for Chinese Vice Premier

Vice Premier Li Keqiang urges expanded exchanges between Korea and China in trade, culture, and projects










Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang, at an official lunch with Korean business leaders hosted by the four business associations, including the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), on Oct. 27 at Hotel Shilla in downtown Seoul, urged them to push for a free trade agreement between Korea and China, adding that the FTA would bring large economic benefits to both Korean and Chinese people.
The high-ranking Chinese official, who was on his second visit to Korea, said the two neighboring countries can strengthen cooperation between the two countries on low-carbon and green-growth industries; Korean firms can participate in China's projects to develop its interior regions and redevelop its eastern seaboard regions; work towards financial cooperation and reform; expand the exchange of culture and people; and strengthen both multilateral and bilateral relations. He was surprised to see the progress that has been made in Korea since his last visit in 2005.
FKI Chairman Huh Chang-soo, in his welcoming speech at the lunch, said the bilateral trade between Korea and China has expanded from $6.3 billion in 1992 to over $188.4 billion in 2010 and Korean investments in China have provided jobs to 2.8 million people there, making a huge contribution to the Chinese economy.
The participants at the lunch on the Korean side included Chairman Chung Joon-yang of POSCO; Chairman Kang Duk-soo of STX Group; Chairman Shin Dong-bin of Lotte Group; Vice Chairman Lee Yoon-woo of Samsung Electronics; and Vice Chairman Seol Young-hung of Hyundai Motor, among some 250 domestic business leaders on hand.
Before attending the lunch, Vice Premier Lee met with Chairman Park Sam-koo of the Korea-China Friendship Association, who is also chairman of the Kumho-Asiana Group, and discussed matters related to further invigorating the exchange between Korea and China, especially in economic areas. Chairman Park said leaders of both countries should do their best for the promotion of friendship between the two neighboring countries through diverse means.
FKI, along with other organizations such as the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), and the Korean Federation of Small Business, form the four most prestigious economic organizations in Korea. Almost all of the conglomerates and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are obliged to be members of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In each region, local offices are maintained and managed independently. KITA is composed of members who are associated with trade-related services or are private, individual members. The Korean Federation of Small Business consists of cooperatives among small and medium-sized businesses. For a company to be a member of FKI, its annual sales should be 50 billion won or more. FKI has associate members, which represent all industrial sectors.
Whereas the first three organizations were formed under a special law, FKI was established by private businessmen on a voluntary basis, so it uniquely takes the form of a totally private economic organization.
As of June 2005, FKI had 432 members. Out of the total, 366 are company members. Another 63 are organization members, 3 are former FKI chairmen listed as honorary members. By industry, there are 196 members in manufacturing, 53 in finance, 34 in construction, 30 in wholesale and trade, 16 in transportation and storage, nine in electricity and gas, six in telecommunications, and 22 in other services.
For company membership, there are three types of members. They are: ич listed companies whose annual sales should equal 50 billion won or more, иш unlisted companies whose capital is equivalent to 30 billion won or above and whose annual revenues equals 50 billion won, and ищ financial companies whose capital is equivalent to 50 billion won or above. nw

Chairman Huh Chang-soo of the Federation of Korean Industries gives a welcoming speech at a luncheon for Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (2nd from left at the table) hosted by four major business associations in Korea including the FKI on Oct. 27 at Hotel Shilla in downtown Seoul.
Photo on courtesy of the FKI

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