Friday, December 21, 2007

Hyundai Man in the Blue House: Lee Myung-bak, South Korean President-elect

For the past year I've watched the South Korean presidential race. Lee Myung-bak was always a top contender.
Now that Lee has won, I've had a number of people ask, "What can we expect ?" Here are some of my thoughts.

1. Former Hyundai executive Lee Myung-bak’s recent landslide victory in South Korea’s presidential election should be good for the Korean economy, especaially Korea’s conglomorates, and their global affiliates. ( Look for lots a de-regulation).

2. For the past decade, two prior South Korean presidents with strong activist ties, tended to focus on regulating Korean big business and looked to build stronger ties with North Korea. (Relations with the U.S. tended to be lukewarm.)

3. Voters seeing a need for change hope Lee Myung-bak will boldly address issues like economic growth, education, and Korea’s place in the global market. (Expect stronger ties to the U.S. and support for the FTA).

4. Moreover, many feel Lee’s strong leadership style (honed as a Hyundai CEO and mayor of Seoul) are what Korea needs to compete with China, Japan, and the world market. (Expect Lee to strongly encourage foreign investment in Korea).

5. Lee’s style, reflecting years as a Hyundai Man, include a hard-working, forward thinking, Can Do attitude mindset and attitude. (Look for Lee’s strong leadership style driving change.)

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