Editorial from Korea Times on Aug. 10


The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) is on the brink of a new era with the selection of Poongsan Corp. Chairman Ryu Jin as its chief. Ryu is set to be officially appointed at an extraordinary general meeting on Aug. 22. This comes as part of a reform package that includes the merger of the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI), an FKI affiliate, into the nation’s largest business lobby.

Ryu has been widely viewed as the ideal candidate for the position, having served as vice chairman of the FKI for two decades and currently holding the role of co-head of the Korea-U.S. Business Council, which aims to promote exchanges between the two countries. He is also a board member of the Center for Strategy and International Studies (CSIS) and was awarded the Van Fleet Prize by the Korea Society in recognition of his contributions to Korea-U.S. relations.

With Ryu’s selection, there is hope that the alliance between the two countries will be further strengthened, taking advantage of the recent improvement in bilateral ties. Founded in 1961 by business leaders such as Samsung Group founder Lee Byung-chul, the FKI was once the mouthpiece of major conglomerates and its motto was “Serving the nation and society through business activities”.

Unfortunately, the organization faced a crisis due to its involvement in the corruption scandals involving former President Park Geun-hye. As a result, the four major business groups ― Samsung, SK, Hyundai Motor and LG ― withdrew from the lobby. Under the Yoon Suk Yeol administration, the FKI has been attempting to restore its influence, and with the appointment of Ryu as its new leader, this effort is likely to gain momentum.

Ryu has a number of important tasks to accomplish in his mission to bring the FKI back to its former glory. He must ensure that the lobby is no longer involved in any shady practices, and that it works to represent the interests of all businesses, not just the big conglomerates. As well as this, the FKI should adopt a stricter internal control system and strive to become a respected think tank that is dedicated to maintaining the free market economy.

With the changing economic climate both domestically and internationally, the Korean economy is facing major challenges such as declining growth. Therefore, it is essential that the FKI encourages entrepreneurship and innovation, in order to make a successful transformation into a reliable global institute.

You might also like
Open chat
Need help?
Scan the code
Hello 👋
Can we help you?

Mark Silaev
Glosema Account Manager