Korea’s business community seeks breakthrough in frayed relations with China

Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF) Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik, right, speaks during a press conference in Seoul, March 14. Yonhap

Representatives from Korea’s business community will seek a breakthrough to recover frayed relations with China through their upcoming two-day trip to Beijing, according to Seoul’s pro-business lobby group, Sunday.Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF) Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik will lead the Korean business delegation for the itinerary — scheduled for March 19 and 20. Top-ranking executives from major conglomerates — such as Samsung and Hanwha — are expected to visit the Chinese capital for a meeting with ranking government and company officials there. The KEF did not disclose the names of the Korean delegates.This raises hopes for Seoul and Beijing to resume their bilateral business cooperation, which has de facto been suspended since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The possible resumption of the high-ranking business dialogue channel will help reinvigorate business exchanges between the two countries.On the first day of the trip, the Korean business delegation will have a meeting with representatives from the China International Council for the Promotion of Multinational Corporations (CICPMC) – a nongovernmental organization dedicated to boosting cooperation with multinational firms from non-Chinese territories.Ranking officials from the KEF and the CICPMC will particularly bring up crucial questions on how to jointly respond to global supply chain disruptions and boost personnel exchanges.

The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) — one of the nation’s most influential business lobbies along with the KEF — had been holding a CEO roundtable between the two countries each year since 2012. A meeting between the FKI and the CICPMC, however, has not taken place since 2020 due to the unexpected pandemic disruption.Against this backdrop, the upcoming business trip by the KEF raises expectations for thawed relations, at a crucial time when calls grow for Korea’s business circles to diversify their supply channels amid global protectionism.“The upcoming meeting, in itself, comes with significance in that both sides will have a face-to-face meeting to resolve a set of sensitive business issues, even if it will take more time for both sides to normalize their relations again,” an official from a conglomerate said.The Korean business delegation is also known to have plans for visiting major economic organizations and think tanks in 카지노사이트 Beijing on the second day of the trip.

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