Tuesday, 2 June 2009

ASEAN-Korea CEO summit handles joint strategy, green business

The ASEAN-Korea CEO Summit, which provided a chance for business representatives from Korea and Southeast Asian countries to mingle and exchange ideas, wrapped up its two-day session on Monday (June 1).
The summit, presided over by Sohn Kyung-shik, the chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce at Jeju International Convention Center on Jeju-do (Jeju Island) proved to be a success, with a resolve to work for the joint prosperity of the region. Some 700 business leaders participated in the event, as well as heads of state like Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and others, to discuss ways to overcome the global financial crisis and realize joint prosperity through cooperation in the private business sector.

On the second day of the event, the issue of free trade agreements between Korea and ASEAN countries received a particular focus as a way to establish a combined, regional economy and realize green growth. Officials held in-depth talks on management strategy in this regard. Ahead of the closing ceremony, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak pointed out that under the framework of ASEAN-Korea regional cooperation, there must be strengthened cooperation within the East Asia region and, toward that goal, a strategic partnership should be maximized. He went on to say that once a free trade agreement between Korea and ASEAN nations is signed, the framework of economic cooperation between the two sides would be completed and efforts will be made to extend investment in the service sector.

Korea Chamber of Commerce head Sohn agreed, adding that the clinching of the free trade agreement will be a systematic bridge to increase both the trade and investment of the two regions, drawing up a new blueprint of joint prosperity for both Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia. During the session “Corporate Growth Strategy amidst Changing Global Environment” Chaly Mah Chee Kheong, CEO of Deloitte Asia Pacific, stressed that a management strategy should be made up to prepare for economic decline. He called for the need to implement restructuring while adjusting to the changing economic climate, expressing doubts over the short-term management strategy of many corporations. Arin Jira, chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, underlined the need to reestablish a sustainable information network and the efforts to fully understand government policy. He added that it is crucial the company understand its potential and possibility for strategic development.

In the session “Green Growth: Challenges for Governments and Businesses” Angela Cropper, the deputy executive director of UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) expressed support for Korean President Lee's East Asia Climate Partnership, which he proposed at the G8 meeting last July. The East Asia Climate Partnership calls for a joint green growth strategy between Korea and ASEAN countries. Kropper, suggesting the development of renewable energy and environment-friendly cars and buildings as main tasks for green growth, went on that each country should reform its budget and streamline financial resources to work on technology development and transfers toward that end. Brett Kimber, president of Linde Korea, said a new market and new opportunity is forming related to not just energy but things like renewable materials, management of waste and others. He noted measures to introduce an environment-friendly production system are proceeding fast, in line with change in customer demand and environmental conservation efforts.

Written By Kim Hee-sung (Korea.net Staff Writer)

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