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More SMEs see positive changes from shared-growth project

Small- and medium-sized enterprises say that positive changes have been seen since Sept. 29 when the government drew up a comprehensive plan to promote shared-growth, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said Monday.

According to the ministry, which inspected 12 industrial complexes to gauge SMEs’ sentiments, more SMEs responded that large firms were adopting measures promoted under the project.

Changes listed by SMEs included receiving payments in cash, and large companies refraining from forcing suppliers to lower prices, which according to industry officials was standard practice in the past.

The inspection was carried out in collaboration with the Small and Medium Business Administration and the Korea Industrial Complex Corp., and surveyed about 500 companies in major industries including automotive and electronics. Categories for the 70-person inspection team include cooperation between contractors and suppliers, and methods used to determine the value of contracts.

The concerned government agencies also plan to conduct a written survey, the results of which will be announced in mid-August.

The inspection conducted between July 5 and 18, found that improvements were mainly seen in manufacturing sectors including the electronics, shipbuilding and automotive industries.

However, SMEs working in the IT and telecommunications industries were found to have experienced relatively little changes in large companies practices regarding payment conditions and setting prices, the ministry said.

In addition, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy found that the relations between large companies with first-tier suppliers had improved more than that first tier supplier had with second and third tier suppliers.

By Choi He-suk  (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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