Google chief stresses importance of deregulation in S. Korea

October 30, 2015
Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Google's holding company, Eric Schmidt (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Google’s holding company, Eric Schmidt (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet Inc., the holding company of Google Inc., said Friday that flexible regulations will help South Korea amid the protracted economic slowdown.

“I know that your country is seeing an economic slowdown. My recommendation would be to adopt more flexible regulations to unleash the creativity of (South) Korean citizens,” Schmidt said during a visit to Seoul.

It is his first visit since Google changed to a holding company structure in August 2015. He previously made a visit in 2013.

“Regulations often hold progress back. The secret to the Internet was that it was not regulated,” the chief of the tech giant said.

His recommendation is in line with South Korea’s effort to press ahead with deregulation in the employment, finance and other sectors.

President Park Geun-hye has been pushing to lift or ease all but core regulations to revive South Korea’s faltering economy, calling unnecessary business restrictions “our archenemy” and a “cancer.”

Schmidt also said Thursday that South Korea sees big potential for many young generations who would like to start their own companies.

“The best thing about (South) Korea is entrepreneurs of the next generation,” said Schmidt, adding that it is important that the country has a culture that allows failure.

The chairman further recommended that the government create a private group helping young entrepreneurs and tax them in a way that benefits investment.

During the three-day trip, Schmidt met with executives of Samsung Electronics Co., as well as executives of LG Electronics Co.

He also met with S. Korean startup companies and visited the National Assembly to meet with Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa.