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Gov't to protect industries for small merchants

All News 15:04 December 04, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Yonhap) -- A set of measures will take effect next week to prevent conglomerates from entering industries that small merchants need for their livelihood, the SMEs ministry said Tuesday.

The ordinance passed by the Cabinet goes into force on Dec. 13, setting the details of who can apply for industry designation, the operation of a deliberation committee that will decide on applications and any exceptions to the rules.

Organizations with more than 30 percent membership by small merchants can apply for a particular industry to be designated as exclusive to those traders. The Korea Commission for Corporate Partnership will review the application and pass it on to the Ministry of SMEs and Startups on approval. The 15-member deliberation committee will make the final decision based on majority voting.

Gov't to protect industries for small merchants - 1

Once an industry has been designated as exclusive for small merchants, big business groups cannot enter the sector. Any violation will be punished with fines of up to 5 percent of sales, ministry officials said.

The ordinance also includes exceptions to the rules, allowing conglomerates to engage in businesses set aside for small merchants if it affects international competitiveness, consumers' interests or the soundness of the industry.

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