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Yoon says Korea's labor, regulatory policies should align with global standards

Jan. 25, 2023 - 14:12 By Shin Ji-hye
President Yoon Suk Yeol (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol said Wednesday that South Korea should conform its labor and regulatory policies to global standards in order to survive in the competitive global market.

“Unless we align our system with global standards (in regard to) regulation and labor, (global companies) will not invest in our country and it will be difficult for Korean companies to compete in the global market,” Yoon told his ministers at the meeting on Wednesday.

The remark came at the meeting held after he returned from an eight-day tour to the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland. South Korea's opposition party and union groups have been rejecting Yoon's labor reform bills, casting clouds over the government's plan to win parliamentary approval as soon as the plenary session takes place.

The president also stressed that the government’s role is more important than ever as cooperation on security, economy and advanced technology is operated as a package between countries. “Companies should not be left to fight alone in the global market where there is an economic war without shooting,” he said.

Yoon asked Cabinet members to run with the determination of salespeople representing the country. “I will run until my shoes wear out as the first salesperson of Korea.”

Yoon also instructed prompt progress of follow-up measures for agreements made with the UAE while enumerating the results of his visit. The results included attracting investments worth $30 billion, 50 memorandums of understanding and strengthening nuclear power cooperation related to the Barakah nuclear power plant.

“We should thoroughly prepare to create a boom in the Middle East based on strong trust between the two countries,” Yoon said.

“I told global CEOs (I met during the visit) that my office is always open, and asked them to drop by at their convenience when visiting Korea to talk to me about their difficulties without hesitation.” He also instructed Cabinet members to listen carefully to foreign companies' difficulties.