(EDITORIAL from Korea JoongAng Daily on Aug. 9)


The Federation of Korean Industries is scheduled to have a board meeting on August 22, which will see Poongsan Group Chairman Ryu Jin become its new head after the organization changes its name. Ryu has a strong international background and is well-connected globally, having served as vice chairman of the FKI for over 20 years and chairman of the Korea-U.S. Business Council. He has also received the 2022 Van Fleet Award from the Korea Society for his efforts in strengthening the Korea-U.S. relationship. Despite this, the new leader will have to face many challenges. He will have to bring the four major business groups in Korea – Samsung, SK, Hyundai Motor and LG – back to the FKI, which saw them exit in 2016-2017 due to their involvement in corruption during the Park Geun-hye administration. To make the organization more appealing, it must prove its ability to address social issues and communicate with the public, instead of solely representing corporate interests. The FKI must also set up an ethical management committee and operate it properly, to distance itself from the previous decades of collusion with the government. Lastly, it should become a powerful think tank promoting entrepreneurship and market economy, and become a respected institution like the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation. We hope Ryu will be able to lead the FKI and the Korean economy to become truly global.

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