January 16, 2019 12:15
President Moon Jae-in held a town hall meeting at Cheong Wa Dae on Tuesday with business leaders and told them his goal is to "create an environment for businesses to take a big leap forward."
He urged his audience to hire more workers. "Hiring and investment form the basis of future business growth and contribute to the nation’s economy and livelihood of the people," he said.
The meeting lasted for two hours and was attended by around 130 business leaders including the heads of major conglomerates. The last time Moon sat down with business leaders in Cheong Wa Dae was in July of 2017, two months after his inauguration.
Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Park Yong-maan, who served as the master of ceremonies, said, "Business leaders like us serve our country and find fulfillment by traversing the globe to expand our operations and use the fruits of these efforts to offer create jobs and pay lots of taxes."
"Please give us credit for our intentions and efforts," he added.
Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong said, "If the government listens more to the views of businesses, we will be able to do our jobs more enthusiastically." Lee promised to honor his pledge last year to hire 40,000 workers over three years.
Taken up on his phase-out of nuclear energy, Moon said, "The government's energy policy will continue."
He also admitted that any substantial inter-Korean business projects lie some time in the future. "International sanctions must be eased first, but it is important to be ready and take preparatory steps now."
The main complaint from business leaders was red tape and the drastic minimum-wage hike, as well as confusion over the shortened working week, which they asked the president to review.
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