SaKong Il, chairman of the Korea International Trade Association, will not seek a second term despite his upbeat reappointment prospects, the state-run trade body said Tuesday.
SaKong, 73, has been overseeing the association’s operations, including supporting small- and mid-size firms and improving the domestic business environment over the past three years. His term is to expire Feb. 22.
“I wish to contribute to the development of the national economy and trade industry as a Korean citizen without being attached to the position,” SaKong was quoted as saying by KITA officials.
SaKong’s second term was widely expected by industry observers who credit him with successfully spearheading the preparations for the 2010 G20 summit in Seoul and pushing for the ratification of free trade pacts with the European Union and the U.S.
In the wake of a global financial meltdown in 2009, he took the helm at KITA and contributed to the robust rebound of Asia’s fourth-largest economy by boosting exports. Korea became the ninth country to hit the $1 trillion trade milestone last year, after the U.S., Germany, China, Japan, France, the Netherlands, Italy and the U.K.