Labor Dispute Most Troubling for Foreign CEOs

Article excerpt

Labor disputes are the most troubling issue for foreign firms doing business in Korea, according to a recent survey.

Although expatriate businessmen acknowledge a significant improvement in the overall investment climate in Korea, they still pointed out many unreasonable business practices.

They said that the most urgent task for Korean companies is to promote accounting transparency.

They praised a reduction of debt ratio for Korean companies, but said that Korea has failed to promote labor flexibility. They view the public sector as the least reformed sector of the economy.

These are the results of a survey by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). They interviewed 42 CEOs from international companies active in Korea. The CEOs are mainly from the USA, the EU, and Japan.

Almost 86 percent of the respondents noted the climate for investment and businesses has improved since Kim Dae-jung came to office.

Concerning the positive aspects of the government's policy in the business sector, 37.5 percent noted the reduction in debt ratio of enterprises and the rise in the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) capital adequacy ratio for financial companies.

Touching upon the negative aspects, 26.8 percent pointed out lackluster progress in public sector reform and the failure to promote flexibility in the labor market. …