The World Economic Forum believes in South Korea’s “potential to continue to contribute positively to the world,” said the forum founder Klaus Schwab referring to the unprecedented challenges, turmoil, and humiliation the country had to endure over President Park Geun-hye’s power abuse scandal that eventually cost her title and unsettled the society with leadership vacuum for more than half a year.
“I am confident that Korea’s resilience, demonstrated numerous times over the past, will once again enable the country rebound from this difficulty,” Schwab said in a letter addressed to Chang Dae-whan, chairman of the Maeil Business Newspaper and Korean business leaders.
Born in Germany in 1938, Schwab founded the WEF in 1971 as a non-profit foundation in Geneva, Switzerland. The forum is best known for its annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters.
“The WEF is following the latest developments in Korea,” he said. After months of trial, the Constitutional Court on March 10 upheld Dec. 9 legislative motion to impeach Park, formally removing from the office she had been suspended since December. Korea’s first female president became the first to be impeached by the Constitutional Court. Although the scandal sent protestors to streets every weekend since September, no casualty or physical conflict arose from the rallies. Despite severe national divide leading up to the court judgment, the country orderly accepted the outcome, and Park no longer with presidential immunity, now faces arrest on multiple criminal charges including bribery. The country holds a presidential election on May 9 ahead of the originally scheduled December according to constitutional procedures.
“Business leaders have an important role to play in overcoming such grave challenges,” Schwab advised.
It is the business leaders that “will ensure continued prosperity through collaborative efforts and contribute to setting a new vision for the country,” he said.
He added that Korea could “count on the WEF’s strong support as a trusted partner through this process.”
The Davos forum brings together business, government and academic leaders annually to address global issues. The Maeil Business Newspaper has been the forum’s partner since 1993.
By Park Yong-beom
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