Breaking Up Chaebol Not Main Issue: Lee Kuan Yew
Whether or not large Korean conglomerates should be broken up is not quite so important as finding the right entrepreneurial managers to run them, said former Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew yesterday.
``The need to get the (economic) system right cannot be refuted but what is more important is how it must be done,'' he said, noting that Korea has unfortunately been suffering from Japan's predicaments.
Hiring the right management, allocating capital more efficiently and basically reshaping the economy into a more competitive form through restructuring will get Korea back on track, Lee said.
Lee, the father of Singapore's success story, made the remarks during the first session of the Seoul Economic Forum held under the theme of ``The World in the 21st Century.''
He is here with 10 other internationally prominent figures, all of whom make up the International Advisory Council of the Federation of Korean Industries which is organizing the forum as the inaugural meeting.
Former U.S secretary of state Dr. Henry Kissinger, chairman of the council, opened the session by expressing his concern for the international affairs in the 21st century.
He said unlike the United States, which always had the option to exist on its own, Asian countries must coexist in a situation where they constantly view each other as potential opponents.
Because of this unique situation, tension is inevitable and the important thing is to manage it for long-term interests not try to prevent it, Kissinger noted.
Commenting on the situation within the Korean peninsula, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said South Korea should have a spirit of conciliation, balanced by strength, so that conciliatory initiatives are not taken as weakness. …