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South Korea president-elect urges chaebol think twice before layoffs

Published on Dec 26, 2012 5:09 PM
South Korea's conservative President-elect Park Geun Hye (background centre) attends a meeting with leaders of the Federation of Korean industries in Seoul Dec 26, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korea's president-elect asked the leaders of the country's big businesses, or chaebol, on Wednesday to think twice before cutting jobs, saying it was time for the conglomerates her father helped build four decades ago to look beyond profits.

The election last week of Ms Park Geun Hye, the 60-year-old daughter of former military ruler Park Chung Hee, was welcomed by the country's big businesses which dominate the world's 14th largest economy. The five biggest chaebol control assets worth more than half of gross domestic product.

A week after her victory, Ms Park said in a meeting with leaders of the top conglomerates that she would make sure fair business activities were encouraged and uncertainties were minimised.

"At the same time, I have a request that I must make to you," Ms Park told the heads of such conglomerates as Hyundai Motor, Samsung, SK and POSCO. "It is my feeling that big conglomerates should try to change."

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