Underemployment posed as this year’s biggest concern for Korean CEOs: WEF’s survey

2019.10.07 15:05:46

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Unemployment or underemployment posed as the biggest management concern for Korean entrepreneurs, according to an international survey on business leaders.

The Regional Risks to Doing Business Report published by the World Economic Forum on Sunday showed executives in South Korea worried most about unemployment issue, whereas natural disasters and cyber attacks or scams concerned Japanese and American counterparts most.

The result is based on a four-month survey of 12,879 business leaders in 141 countries.

There were two points of interest in this year`s report for Korea. Job issues become primary concerns. Other worries were climate change, environmental disaster, cyberattacks and interstate conflicts. In contrast, executives in advanced economies in the West (U.S., Canada, U.K) were most concerned about technological threats like cyberattacks and data theft.

In Europe, the top three risks were cyberattacks, asset bubble and interstate conflicts.

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Excluding Korea, Brunei was the only country in East Asia and the Pacific region that chose unemployment as the biggest risk for doing business. In Europe, Spain struggling with youth unemployment was the only country where unemployment topped the list.

The second point of interest in the report was the conflict between Korea and Japan. The WEF said Korean and Japanese business leaders were more concerned about the ongoing trade and diplomatic conflict between the two countries than the U.S.-China trade war.

In particular, Japanese executives chose fiscal crises and interstate conflict over geopolitical issues as their third biggest business risk. Given the financial crisis has been regarded as a long-term structural issue in Japan because of the aging population, the main concern on the rise among Japanese business leaders is the geopolitical problem arising from the conflict between Korea and Japan, the WEF said.

By Kim In-oh and Minu Kim

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