11 big firms to support smaller businesses for five years

By Nam Kwang-sik

SEOUL, June 18 (Yonhap) -- A total of 11 major South Korean conglomerates, including Samsung, will support small- and mid-sized companies with 205.5 billion won (US$182 million) over the next five years from this year, a business lobby group said Tuesday.

The money will be used in improving production and technologies of about 10,000 smaller companies to increase their per capita labor productivity by 50 percent to 150 million won by 2017 from 99 million won in 2011, said the Korea Chamber of Commerce Industry (KCCI).

In order to push ahead with the plan named the "Industrial Innovation Movement 3.0 (IIM3.0)," the KCCI set up headquarters for the plan in the KCCI building in downtown Seoul.

Eight trade associations, including the Korea Petrochemical Industry Association, will also operate separate headquarters to push the plan, the KCCI said.

The KCCI said the plan is aimed at increasing exchanges and cooperation between big companies and smaller companies to share growth in collaboration with private companies and the government.

Related ministries, including the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and Small and Medium Business Administration, will carry out polices to speed up the five-year support plan during the period, the KCCI said.

The conglomerates participating in the plan include Samsung, Hyundai Motor, POSCO, LG, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Doosan, SK, Lotte, Hanwha, KT and Hyosung.

A ceremony to mark the launch of the movement will be held later in the day in the KCCI building with Sohn Kyung-shik, the chairman of the KCCI, and Yoon Sang-jick, the minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, in attendance. Sohn and Yoon serve as co-heads of the IIM3.0 headquarters.

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