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MOCIE minister to actively promote deregulation The fact that MOCIE minister Lee Hee-beom survived a recent cabinet reshuffle demonstrates the trust he has won from President Roh Moo-hyun. The Minister is acknowledged to have obtained the confidence of President Roh after exports reached an unparalleled $200 billion last year and the current account, $30 billion. In particular, Minister Lee is judged to have performed well in organizational innovation and launching the 10 next-generation growth engine industries. In a recent address, the Minister cited deregulation, enlarging cooperation between large companies and smaller companies, early commercialization of the 10 next-generation growth engine, strengthening energy security, and organization innovation in MOCIE as key goals, committing himself to improving the business climate to allow corporate sentiment to recover and promote the development of the new growth engines. MOCIE will launch measures to spur facility investment The Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy (MOCIE) has forecast that facility investment by the 200 largest corporations this year will grow 20.6%. According to a survey released by MOCIE Jan. 13, 200 facility investment by some of Korea's biggest manufacturers was estimated to increase by 27.3% in 2004 and is forecast to continue a high rate of over 20% (20.6%) in 2005. Facility investment by the 200 corporations was less than 5% in 2001 and 2002, but increased to 12.1% in 2003. Projected investment for 2005 is due to large volume capital replenishment in traditional key industries such as paper manufacturing (96.2%), petrochemicals (54.5%), steel (52.2%), auto (22.3%) and IT sectors such as semiconductors (15.4%) and telecommunications (26.3%). MOCIE plans to implement various investment activation measures to diffuse the benefits of investment by large corporation to smaller companies as well. In addition, to nurture knowledge-based service industries such as logistics, distribution, business services, and e-business as new growth engines, the Ministry will promote further deregulation of the investment environment. Mobile phone providers charged with illegal price-fixing: solution won't be easy Mobile phone providers expect that mediation by the Prime Minister's Office would achieve a settlement in regard to the charge that they have been illegally price-fixing. However, such a settlement will not be as easy as they expect. Chung Wa Dae (the Blue House) has delegated the Prime Minister's Office with arbitrating and mediating a settlement. The Fair Trade Commission embarked upon an investigation into SKT, KTF, and LGT on charges of illegal price-fixing in July of last year. Dacom to assume the offensive in management strategy Since Dacom CEO Jung Hong-shik took office, the company is pursuing aggressive management strategies such as creating synergy between business units and achieving a revenue goal of 2 trillion won. Industry observers are interpreting that Dacom is assuming the offensive with CEO Jung's inauguration after the shock of losing a bitter struggle with Hanaro to acquire Thrunet in December 2004. Samsung telecommunication division to have more PR personnel than the Group Samsung Electronics is beefing up its human resources in public relations in all of its 6 business divisions. The PR team in its telecommunications division, will, in fact, have more personnel than public relation team of the Samsung Group. Telecommunications to loom big in LG's future LG Group chairman Bon-Moo Koo is determined to nurture telecommunications as a core business of his organization. To this end, the Chairman has been visiting LG's telecommunication business division to encourage employees and determine, in conjunction with managers, how this strategy might be implemented. SK Teletek's spin-off is confirmed to be a rumor A report that SK Teletek will be spun-off from the SK Group has been confirmed to be purely a rumor. A journalist close to the Group has quashed the report describing SK Teletek activities, including those in China, to be in good health. The SK Group itself has also denied any intention to spin off SK Teletek.