Antitrust enforcement is a challenge beset with complex issues and unintended consequences. Government intervention in pricing in particular can distort incentives for firms to invest and innovate. Antitrust enforcement, however, has an important role in preventing abuses of patents needed for essential standard technologies.
Despite undergoing two major crises in the past five years, the major economies of the EU, the world’s first “advanced countries,” maintain world leading competitiveness in research, high end manufacturing and creative content. Combined with Korea’s development experience and expertise in production, numerous areas exist for fruitful cooperation.
North Korea’s traditional social classes now have to make room for a new and unexpected rival - merchants. These unofficial traders working outside of North Korea’s moribund formal economy are ushering in profound changes to North Korean society.
Despite its parlous economy, North Korea continues to insist on pursuing a “two track policy” of simultaneous nuclear development and economic growth. In practice, however, these two goals are irreconcilable, meaning North Korea has sacrificed growth for weapons. The future of the North depends on how much it can shift its focus back to the economy.
China has always faced a quandary in dealing with its unpredictable northern ally, one that has only intensified with its spate of nuclear tests. North Korea’s nuclear flirtations have pushed China to embrace sanctions that conflict with its other goal of prodding the North to embrace economic reform.
The arrival of budget airlines in Korea has brought new competition to Korea’s long standing airline duopoly, to strong response from consumers. These firms have cut costs, streamlined organizations, and deployed social marketing techniques to attain a high share of domestic and short distance routes.
Long stranded in demographic obscurity, single-person households are now Korea’s leading demographic. Singleperson households, despite their lower incomes, have higher propensity to consume, and will make an increasing impact for companies seeking to explore the Korean market.
The growing prevalence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities among major firms is helping businesses be better citizens of their communities worldwide. Companies rolling out CSR are leveraging their expertise to promote community health and education, while simultaneously promoting their own interests.
Climate change presents a discomfiting threat to human civilization, and business will be no exception. Even as the potential for extreme temperatures, floods and other anomalies becomes increasingly pervasive, business can still seek opportunities in disaster forecasting and prevention and many other areas.
The transformation of China’s population from global production workers to global shoppers is introducing new demographics for companies seeking to sell in this huge market. The new generation of young people includes both wealthy “little emperors,” and struggling rural migrants, both of whom are departing from the consumption habits of their parents.
CSR and Corporate Citizenship in Korea and the World
SERI Quarterly spoke with Kenn Allen of the International Association for Volunteer Effort, and the Civil Society Consulting Group about the expanding presence of Korean business in global corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, and the need for realistic expectations when pursuing CSR.