Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to welcome you all to the 12th International Financial Forum. I would give special thanks to
Kim Suk-dong, Chairman of the Financial Services Commission and Hwang Kun-ho, Chairman of the
Korea Financial Investment Association. I would also like to thank CEOs from various financial
companies and the panelists from overseas. I truly believe that your presence and support will add value
and reputation to this forum.
It has been two years since the global financial crisis occurred. Most stock markets around the globe
have recovered to their pre-crisis levels but scars remain in from employment and housing markets
to retirement pension sectors. The world economy, however, ran into unexpected snags.
Pro-democracy movements in the North Africa and the Middle East, and a tragic earthquake in Japan
have brought brand-new uncertainty to the market, and the inflation caused by rising commodity prices
such as oil starts to cause instability in not only emerging economies but advanced economies as well.
The fragile global financial system will take time to be restored to the full extent. It’s true that the skills
or products that had been made to hedge risk actually increased risk. This is exactly behind this
year’s theme “Reshaping the Financial Markets.”
Financial markets work best when they are transparent, open and competitive. The Korean Financial
Investment Services and Capital Markets Act began to be enforced two years ago to satisfy these
objectives. Unfortunately, the 2008-09 financial crisis put the Korean government in an awkward
position, pursuing both less regulation to promote competition and more supervision to stabilize
the financial system at the same time.
To my knowledge, the authorities already began to review the law to incorporate this challenging
demand. No doubt that the stability of financial system is important but it is time for Korean financial
services companies to stand out as competitive private businesses. The opportunity to leap one step
forward does not come very often.
Korean financial companies were hit less by the crisis but didn’t seem to seize a great opportunity
either. That is, they have neither increased their global market share nor they have learned advanced
skills for trading and/or structuring products. On the contrary, it’s said that the gap with global financial
giants have actually got wider. So, as the host, I hope those views and experiences that both local and
foreign experts will share in each session will benefit local financial companies.
Thank you again for your support and participation.
Seong C. Gweon
President & CEO,
The Financial News