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Dr. Sakong Il becomes new chairman of KITA
Apr '09
Dr. Sakong Il, former chairman of Presidential Council on National Competitiveness, who is a key advisor to the economic policies of President Lee Myung-bak, took office as the chairman of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and is set to lead Korea's export industry, which is faced with emergency situation due to global economic recession.

KITA elected Dr. Sakong Il as its 27th chairman through the regular general meeting held in COEX in Seoul.

The inauguration of the new chairman Sakong Il implies that people around the trade industry feel the need for new leadership that will strengthen KITA's function of supporting exports armed with a wide range of experience in politics, the government and academia and global perspective in order to tide over the extremely sluggish exports.

Given the significant roles Dr. Sakong Il has played such as the chairman of Presidential Council on National Competitiveness, President's special advisor on economy and the head of the G-20 coordinating committee, it is expected that the status of KITA as the center of 65,000 trading companies. KITA, however, is also facing a difficult task of reviving exports, which are shrinking since November last year due to the worsened global economic condition.

The new chairman Sakong Il said in his inauguration speech that the world economy has fallen into the most serious recession since 1930's and that he will do his best to overcome the current crisis at a time when advanced nations are experiencing simultaneous recessions and even China's economic growth is slowing down, worsening the trade environment. Chairman Sakong Il cited resolving difficulties related to trade, taking a leading role in trade cooperation and creating new growth engines for Korea's new leap forward as the areas that KITA will focus on in the future.

He said that he will identify difficulties and problems related to trade more carefully and resolve them as soon as possible by closely cooperating with the government and added that he will seek ways to support trade businesses, which can help them both directly and indirectly.

Chairman Sakong Il also said that KITA will take a leading role in private trade cooperation for early conclusion of Doha Development Agenda, early ratification of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement and the Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement.

He went on to say that in order for Korea's trade to make another leap forward, it has to create knowledge-based future industry and businesses related to low carbon green growth and develop them into exporting businesses and that KITA will take the lead in laying institutional and policy-related foundation.

And through the general meeting, which some 800 representatives of trade businesses attended, KITA confirmed its 2009 business plans: supporting exports such as exports to Japan and expansion of agricultural products; financially supporting small and medium-sizedbusinesses and supporting trade on the field such as boosting trade in local provinces; supporting the development of strategic businesses into exporting businesses; nurturing next generation human resources in trade; establishing local trade centers.

Korea International Trade Association (KITA)

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