S. Korean biz leaders to inaugurate body for inter-Korean economic cooperation


South Korean business leaders are set to inaugurate a forum next week to facilitate economic cooperation between the two Koreas’ private sectors, a South Korean business body said Thursday.

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), which has spearheaded the the forum’s establishment, said about 70 business and financial figures, including KCCI chief Sohn Kyung-shik, and Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung, will get together on Monday to launch the private forum for inter-Korean economic cooperation.

Sohn will take the helm of the 60-member forum that will include representatives of the South’s leading conglomerates that have taken part in inter-Korean economic projects — Samsung Electronics Co., Hyundai Motor Co. and Hyundai Asan Corp.

The forum’s inauguration comes on the heels of the Oct. 2-4 inter-Korean summit. At the close of the summit, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il issued a joint declaration calling for massive investment from the South in the North’s key industrial sectors, including shipbuilding and tourism.

The forum plans to serve as a mediator for exchanges and cooperation between the two Koreas’ private firms. After receiving information and feedback from South Korean firms on their investments in the North, the forum also plans to make recommendations to the two governments on inter-Korean economic projects.

In addition, the forum envisions the dispatch of a delegation to the North, which will examine the investment climate in the communist country and establish a dialogue channel for inter-Korean economic cooperation in the private sector.


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