A South Korea-China private economic cooperation consultative body, which consists of leading businessmen in South Korea and China, will be established next year. For South Korea, the body will be participated in by heads of major groups, including SK Chairman Chey Tae-won who played a role as a bridge to form the consultative group.
The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) to set up the council of South Korea-China senior-level businessmen at the main office of the CCIEE on December 14 (local time).
The signing ceremony was attended by KCCI Chairman Park Yong-man, SK Chairman Chey Tae-won, KCCI full-time Executive Vice Chairman Kim Joon-dong, CCIEE Chairman Zeng Peiyan, former vice-premier of the State Council of China, and CCIEE Vice Chairman Zhang Xiaoqiang.
The consultative group is named “South Korea-China Senior-level Businessmen Talks.” It is comprised of 10 businessmen, three former high-ranking government officials and one economic expert each from both countries. The body will hold a two-day meeting once a year in either South Korea or China by turns, starting from next year. An official from the KCCI said, “Who will be in the meeting and when and where to hold the meeting will be decided soon through the working-level conference.”
The businessmen council is expected to become a key organization for private economic cooperation between the two countries in the future. It is said to be taken part in by heads of the nation’s leading business groups as well as KCCI Chairman Park Yong-man. In particular, SK Chairman Chey Tae-won, a China watcher, is a key contributor to form the body. An official from the KCCI said, “Chairman Chey played a role as a bridge to conclude the latest MOU by making use of his old Chinese networks.”
Chey has focused on “China Insider” strategy to construct a 2nd SK Group in China from 2006 in order to expand the group’s business in China. In addition, he serves as the board of director of the Boao Forum, known as the Asian version of Switzerland's Davos Forum, and maintains a close relationship with China’s key politicians and businessmen.
China already established a senior-level businessmen consultative group with Japan the United States. So, China’s President Xi Jinping has had face-to-face talks with the body to expand economic cooperation between the countries. The South Korea-China businessmen consultative group will be able to play a critical role in addressing economic issues, which are tangled with political variables like conflicts caused by the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system, in the future.
Meanwhile, the CCIEE is a think tank consisting of China’s leading state-run companies and 300 private companies. Founded in 2009, it has member companies such as China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Sinochem Group, China Development Bank (CDB), China Construction Bank (CCB) and China Eastern Airlines.