“Amid realigning of global supply chains, Korea has become the best nation to meet a deadline globally, and Korean SMEs have led economic growth through the creation of export and jobs, despite the COVID pandemic. We have to prepare for the next 100 years, based on the foothold we’ve built over the past 60 years.”
Chairman Kim Ki-moon of the Korea Federation of SMEs (KBIZ) made the remarks while delivering a speech at 2022 SME Leadership Forum, which kicked off a four-day run at Jeju on Sept. 27.
“Greater changes are expected in the new 100 years in a faster pace not compared to the past 60 years, let’s grasp the trends of the changing world and explore new growth engines,” Chairman Kim said.
About 400 SME businessmen across the nation assembled at the 15th rendition of the forum.
Participants explored solutions on the survival and growth of SMEs and their role, and vision for the next 100 years under the theme “The Footsteps Trodden for 60 Years and 100 Years of Hope.”
Among those on hand at the forum were KBIZ Chairman Kim, Deputy Prime Minister-Minister of Economy and Finance Chu Kyung-ho and Jeju Gov. Oh Young-hoon.
Chairman Kim Ki-moon of the Korea Federation of SMEs (KBIZ) gives a speech at a closing ceremony of the 2022 SME Leadership Forum. (Photos: KBIZ)
Lee Kwan-sup, senior presidential secretary for national planning, delivered a presidential message on behalf of President Yoon Suk-yeol.
In the message, President Yoon said, “SMEs, venture companies and small business merchants account for 99 percent of the nation’s total companies and 83 percent of the nation’s total jobs, becoming a living foundation for people and foundation of the national economy.”
Even though the nation suffered from multiple crises, including the so-called “three highs” and natural disasters, as well as the COVID pandemic, the scars are healing, President Yoon said, adding that the government would do its utmost to transfer the current economy crisis into an opportunity.
He promised that the government would lend an ear to voices of industries and reflect them into policies.
“Overhauling family business succession and taxes in late July has opened up momentum for SMEs to grow to their hearts’ content,” President Yoon said.
The government would allow large- and small-sized companies to grow together and create values of shared growth and fairness by spreading a system of indexing unit prices for subcontractors, the years-long pending issue, he said.
Deputy Prime Minister-MOEF Minister Chu delivered a special lecture, titled “The Recent Situation of the National Economy and the Direction of Economic Policies.”
“The government believes in a philosophy of only playing a part of taking off the shackles that stand in the way of businessmen who attempt to run hard,” Deputy Prime Minister Chu said.
The government would carry dramatic regulatory reform for the next five years and create room for companies and businessmen to run by making public sector, labor market and education flexible to the levels of advanced countries, he said.
Chu stressed the overhauling of a 52-hour workweek system and the act on the punishment of serious disasters in a rational fashion.
Jeju Gov. Oh said Juju would dramatically expand a center to support workcation, a work and travel trend of combining working and taking a vacation, to make Jeju a business-friendly one. Jeju would offer economic support, such as tax benefits for relocating companies, he added.
KBIZ Chairman Kim explained the outcomes of policies toward SMEs.
He cited as major achievements the operation of a pilot project to implement a regime indexing unit prices for subcontractors, inaugurating of the special committee on shared growth among large- and small-sized companies under the control of the President, the overhauling of a family business recession system, building a self-reliant foundation for cooperatives and actualizing of regulatory reform for SMEs.