“The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on January 1 this year there will be additional job creation effects of 14,000 more jobs as well as foreign investment of more than 2.3 trillion won. For 11 months since the law’s revision, however, there has been almost no new foreign investment.”
“The number of new jobs created after the revised law’s passage has been only 99. As all the claims of benefits made by the government turned out outright lies by now, we have to make sure all the toxic provisions that may shake up the foundation of the holding company scheme to the core within the law be abolished.”
—Park Young-sun, congresswoman, New Politics Alliance for Democracy
SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — Park Young-sun (New Politics Alliance for Democracy), the congresswoman who has led the criticism against the government’s economic stimulus plans and extreme pro-business stance, made on November 28 a proposal to roll back the law to encourage foreign investment that was revised last year. Late last year, she had been at the forefront of a campaign to oppose the law’s revision.
According to the proposal made by the opposition party lawmaker, a provision allowing a granddaughter company of a holding company to establish a joint venture with a foreign investor must be abolished. The current provision permits the granddaughter company to create a joint venture with foreigners if it holds more than a 50-percent stake in the venture.
At the time of the passage in December last year, the ruling party members insisted that it would encourage inbound foreign investment and contribute to job creation. The opposition party lawmakers disparaged it would be an outright case of pork barrel benefiting domestic companies like SK Chemicals and GS Caltex which were trying to establish joint ventures in partnership with Japanese companies.
Earlier on November 13, the congresswoman appeared in an interview program on SBS-Radio and urged that a special law to forfeit profits earned through illegal means be passed. The special law, dubbed the “Lee Hak-soo law” named after Samsung Electronics vice chairman who took, together with Samsung C&T president Kim In-joo, a massive amount of profit from stock market gains after issuing in 1999 Samsung SDS bonds with warrant at dirt-cheap price due to its status as a privately held company, intends to take back the profit earned through expedient means.
She said in the radio program, “Who will want to be a law-abiding citizen if someone who pockets more than 5 trillion won in illegal stock trading goes scot-free. As this is an issue closely related to our society’s basic principles like trust, we have to pursue it to the end. Otherwise it will haunt us and our next generations.”
Last month, she also slammed “Choinomics,” the economic stimulus package pushed by current Deputy Prime Minister Choi Kyoung-hwan, in a parliamentary inspection on the Ministry of Strategy & Finance. From the beginning of the hearing held by the National Assembly’s strategy and finance committee, she pressured the deputy prime minister by asking “What do you mean by Choinomics?”
She continued, “I found the same word over and over again in the press release material put out by the finance ministry. It makes me suspect the word was coined by the ministry itself rather than by the media. I never saw any “-nomics” named after a minister instead of a president or prime minister.”
By citing stock market data, she lambasted, “The KOSPI was 2,080 on July 30 when the by-elections were held. For about three months since then, the index fell 7.5 percent to 1,925 yesterday. This is no doubt the best example showing that Choinomics has failed. Isn’t this the case enough exhibiting the government’s half-heartedness in stimulating the economy except during election times?”
By M. H. Lee (email@example.com)