[Photo by The European Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ECCK)]
The European Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ECCK) urged the Korean government to tighten protection of intellectual properties, ease regulations in the auto industry and stop discriminatory policies that give preferential treatment for domestic industries.
The ECCK, a non-profit organization supporting European businesses operating in Korea, released a 2017 White Paper on Monday to represent suggestions made by European companies in 14 sectors including insurance, automobile, shipbuilding and pharmaceutical. It was the third of its kind since the organization was founded in 2012.
The paper has been sent to government ministries and discussed with government offices, said the ECCK.
The ECCK said Korea has shown improvement in protecting intellectual property rights but still has a long way to go, citing the result of a survey it did last year on business environment in Korea. In the White Paper, it urged the Korean government to toughen penalties to the maximum extent legally possible as many violators still get away with a slap on the wrist.
In the auto industry, it demanded easing of regulations on test cars for emissions standard certification. Volkswagen AG and Audi AG have been banned to sell their cars in Korea after the Korean government found they had fabricated emissions reports to obtain permission to sell vehicles in Korea. They recently obtained new licenses to sell their few models in the country.
It also asked to raise the maximum legal width of vehicles from 2.5 meters to 2.55 meters in line with the European standard to allow imports of more various car models from Europe.
It also pointed out that there are still many visible and invisible discriminatory policies for local industries in Korea. It argued the government should remove the policy allowing Korean drug makers who develop novel treatments to charge 10 percent more for the new drugs than existing similar cures as it is an outright discrimination against global pharmaceutical firms.
In addition, it urged that Korea needs to create a level playing field in the shipbuilding and shipping sectors as well by eliminating preferential treatments for local players.
By Hwang Soon-min and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]