A strong and multilateral trade system supported by international standards can help South Korea to build a conducive business environment, encourage foreign capital and strengthen the competitiveness of Korean industries, according to the chairperson of a European business advocacy organization here.
“Aligning domestic regulations with global standards is imperative, as otherwise they will have (a) difficult time adapting to the international standards when the time for export comes,” said Dimitris Psillakis, chairperson of the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea, in his keynote speech during The Korea Herald’s Biz Forum “Korea in crisis: How to survive in an era of trade wars and industrial risks” held Friday.
Dimitris Psillakis, chairperson of the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea and CEO at Mercedes-Benz Korea speaks during The Korea Herald Biz Forum “Korea in crisis: How to survive in an era of trade wars and industrial risks” at Hotel Shilla in Seoul on Friday. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
“It is clear that many small companies neither have capacities nor the resources to adapt their products or services, for different regulatory requirements in different markets,” Psillakis, who is also the CEO of Mercedes-Benz Korea, added.
Citing an annual business climate survey by foreign chambers, Psillakis said the rules and regulations here are often evaluated as “Korea-specific.”
“Foreign investors come to Korea through FTA benefits and attractive government incentive programs, but excessive local regulations act as barriers for them,” he said, adding that rules and standards here often work as “hidden tariffs” because additional costs are involved in order to comply with Korean standards, which may lead to companies refraining from importing advanced products.
“It is clear that Korean regulators have the duty to ensure and adapt to needs for local society and economy. But a balance must be stricken in order to ensure fairness, exploit new opportunities and foster innovation and business growth,” he said.
Psillakis said that the need for international standards has increased dramatically, as more products and services continue to move rapidly into the era of the “fourth industrial revolution.”
“I believe that there should be the same standards globally to ensure that companies in the US, in Europe, in China, and in Korea are operating with their new technologies in the same and responsible ways,” he said.
Before joining Mercedes-Benz Korea as president and CEO in 2015, Psillakis served as head of passenger cars in Latin America. He was elected as chairperson of the ECCK in February 2017.
By Kim Da-sol (email@example.com