South Korea's major business associations remain less eager to sponsor the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics only two months away due to strengthened anti-corruption laws, industry insiders people said Thursday.
In a meeting arranged by Lee Hee-beom, who heads the winter sports games organizing committee, the country's six leading business lobbies have been less willing to support the winter sports games than in the past due to related rules, they said.
The six business associations are the Federation of Korean Industries, the Korea Employers Federation, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), Korea Federation of SMEs and the Association of High Potential Enterprises in Korea.
Lee called for aggressive support from them to promote the global sports event to be held from Feb. 9-25 in Pyeongchang, 182 kilometers east of Seoul.
But the business lobbies have not announced any specific plans to sponsor the PyeongChang Olympics.
In the past, the FKI and KEF led efforts to sponsor major sports events held in South Korea such as the World Cup by raising funds from their member companies.
Moreover, as the government introduced the Kim Young-ran anti-graft law that took effect last year to strive for a more transparent and corruption-free society, companies have become more passive in financing or sponsoring outside events.
The FKI came under fire as chief executives of member conglomerates such as Samsung, Lotte and SK Group were accused of being involved in the massive corruption scandal that ultimately removed former President Park Geun-hye from office in March and put Samsung Group's heir apparent Lee Jae-yong behind bars for bribery and other charges.
In March, the 56-year-old FKI came up with a "drastic" set of reform measures to transform itself into research-focused facility. It included a 40 percent reduction in its budget and workforce. (Yonhap)