Speakers for this week's Global Business Forum, hosted by The Korea Herald on Wednesday, suggested solutions to tackle Korea's falling economy.
Decentralization is the key, said Lee Cheol-woo, the governor of North Gyeongsang Province, urging local governments to attract young Koreans with stable and well-paid jobs so that they can help to keep regions outside of Seoul young and vibrant.
“We face the crisis of extinction. Yet, all young Koreans are going to Seoul and that’s where it’s all messed up. Youth are tired, knocked down by the crowded commuting subways, fierce competition, leading them to give up on marriage and childbearing,” Lee said.
Kang Seong-hoon, chairman and CEO of the Korea Development Bank, also pointed out that the Korean economy will see a decrease in growth rates of some 0.2 percentage point.
“This is a rule that Korea has to overcome: 0.2 percentage point a year. That’s a 1 percentage point decline in five years and a 2 percentage point decline in 10. In 10 years, the growth rate of Korea could stand at zero,” Kang said.
Kang explained three factors that contribute to the growth rate: population, investment in equipment and productivity. With the lowest fertility rate among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development members, Kang urged that the alliance between business and government should be strengthened, emphasizing that the next 10 years would be a pivotal turning point to shape the future.
The Cambodian Embassy in Seoul also showcased the nation's tourism sector and the extensive business prospects that Cambodia has to offer at the forum.
Highlighting tourism and business, Lourn Saboeun, deputy chief of mission at the Cambodian Embassy in Seoul encouraged CEOs participating in the forum to seize the investment opportunities presented and consider the promotion of tourism as a bridge to cultural understanding and economic growth.