From left, front row, are Andrew Kim, director of external affairs of Mercedes-Benz Korea; Maria Castillo-Fernandez, ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Korea; Dirk Lukat, ECCK chairperson and CEO of Schenker Korea; and Christoph Heider, ECCK president. (ECCK)
The European Chamber of Commerce in Korea's Passenger Vehicle Committee has called on the South Korean government to take a more prudent approach to the nation’s low-emission vehicle supply target at a press conference hosted on Tuesday.
The low-pollution vehicle supply target system, which was initiated by the Ministry of Environment last year, is a system that obliges car sellers to sell a certain minimum percentage of low-emission vehicles. The government is also considering imposing fines on carmakers for the shortfall in the planned supply of low-pollution vehicles.
“The production and sales of low-emission vehicles and non-polluting vehicles require years of advance planning, parts procurement, expansion of production lines and establishment of service networks at the headquarters level,” said Andrew Kim, ECCK passenger vehicles committee chairperson and director of external affairs at Mercedes-Benz Korea, at the ECCK virtual press conference.
“So, it is essential (for the government) to present mid- to long-term road maps for the (low-polluting car) supply target,” he said.
He cited the example of California, which introduced the world’s first pollution-free vehicle supply. California is increasing the target for pollution-free cars by 0.5 percent annually to 6 percent by 2025 so that companies can anticipate and prepare for a fixed target over five years, Kim said.
“We hope there is a target plan in Korea that can be achieved in reality by granting a sufficient grace period after in-depth discussions,” he said.
The conference also discussed the economic challenges and opportunities faced by other European companies in Korea due to the COVID-19 outbreak as well as the regulatory and structural challenges still remaining in the Korean market.
Julien Samson, ECCK health care committee chairperson and vice president of GSK Korea, said that to further strengthen the introduction of innovative vaccines in Korea, it is necessary to reexamine vaccine pricing and introduction policies.
“It is important to improve related regulations and policy decisions so that the efficacy, safety, convenience and technological innovation of vaccines can be fully recognized at prices.”
The Tuesday press conference was also held for the publication of the 2020 ECCK White Paper.
The ECCK White Paper is a collective expression of the views on the business environment in Korea by ECCK member companies operating in a wide range of industries. This annual publication is a compilation of key industry issues and recommendations that echoes the European business community’s desire to support the Korean government in developing the current regulatory framework.
This year’s white paper has 145 recommendations and regulatory issues across 20 industries, including health care, automobiles, environment, chemicals and food.
In welcoming remarks, ECCK Chairperson Dirk Lukat said, “The white paper echoes the European business community’s desire to support the Korean government to develop the current regulatory framework, which will benefit both foreign companies and the Korean economy as a whole.
“To overcome the difficult challenges and crises caused by the COVID-19, we believe the government and business must carry out their respective responsibilities and build trust and credibility with a focus on providing long-term solutions to realistic problems.”
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org)