The seminar tackled the United Chamber of Commerce and its role in advocating for a free trade industry between Korea and the United States of America. The speaker briefly discussed the relation of a country's image to the goal of pursuing a free trade from other country, deeply focused in the dynamic interaction of different sectors in the economy particularly when it comes to policy-making and free trading, and shared the ways and actions taken by the organization to address their members needs and achieve their advocacy.
Basically, the United Chamber of Commerce is a purely private sector organization with US companies operating in Korea as priority members. Though the organization is composed of US companies, it has no formal affiliation with the United States and is not funded by them. Also, the United Chamber of Commerce is not solely for US Companies in Korea. As stated in the organization's Constitution, it is also open for Korean companies or anyone that is in line on trade with US and Korea. For 50 years, the organization had had 2000 individual members from different sectors of the economy.
Some of which are from manufacturing, service providing, educational testing service companies, life insurance, and many more. It aims to promote and protect the interest of its member companies in Korea; relay the voice of the members to the Korean Government and private sectors if necessary; serve as a bridge between Korea and US policy makers, academic institutions, and the like; and, achieve a stronger relationship between US and Korea by promoting stronger economic ties among the two countries.
In the earlier part of the lecture, the speaker tackled about the relation of the image of Korea among US Government Officials to the state of having a free trade between them. She stressed out that one thing disappointing from the Americans is their lack of knowledge and having misconceptions as to what Korea and the Korean economy really is nowadays. There is a false impression on the image of Korea since most US Government Officials still sees the country as it was during the 1980s, the time when the Korean Government focused on domestic industries and there were trade barriers in the country.
She synthesized that this issue on image and past affects the free trade industry between the two especially when it comes to decision-making and passing agreements. This is where the United Chamber of Commerce comes in – educating the American and its policy-makers about the development of Korea to a "Dynamic Korea" after more than two decades. Also, to diminish the strong pre-existing notions and misconceptions about the country. Afterwards, the speaker talked on the "Dynamic Triangle" which is about the loud interaction of three significant segments in relation to policy making.
The three segments are as follows: (1) government administration, its secretaries and various agencies, (2) the congress, and (3) the private sectors. She emphasized that it is important that these segments have a good and active interaction among each other. As part of the advocacy of the organization for free trade between US and Korea, ways to pursue this advocacy are being taken by the organization for its members. They created business councils with council-industry leaders and called for seminars to talk about the importance of free trade, human resources and taxation issues.
The members of the chamber also meet one policy maker every month. The organization also talks to US and Korean Government Officials in relation to the advocate for free trade agreement and policy making. In conclusion, the seminar tackled on the development of Korea in terms of its rules and stand on free trade policy. It focused on the advocacy and actions of the United Chamber of Commerce in order to pursue and achieve a free trade agreement between the two countries and in order educate the people about the current condition of Korean economy and the importance of free trade and industries.