[EDITORIALS]The economy needs our unityThe Korean economy is confronting another trial. Even before the impeachment of the president, it was in a state of crisis. Increasing credit delinquency, soaring household debt, youth unemployment, shrinking investment and consumption and scarcity of raw materials have posed serious problems, making it difficult to see the end of the slump and raising worries about a loss of growth potential. The impeachment puts another burden on the economy. Far from attaining the goal of a $20,000 per-capita GDP, it is now feared that Korea will drop out of the race to join advanced countries. To overcome this crisis, we have to concentrate our national strength more than at any other time.
First, we have to prevent the effects of exaggerated unease. We need strong government leadership for that. Fortunately, the economic team led by Lee Hun-jai, deputy prime minister, proclaimed both internally and abroad that the government will maintain its existing policies and operational framework, and swiftly met with representatives of finance, businesses and labor.
But this is not enough. Overseas investors have maintained a reserved attitude so far, casting uneasy glances. If they sense anything unusual, the credibility of Korea will tumble. Businessmen and consumers are feeling much the same. Without assurances of political stability, it is difficult to expect a revival of consumption and investment.
The government must show that policies on investment and consumption, economic recovery and stability are being pursued without fail. It must consider enhancing its international credibility by sending a delegation to Wall Street to explain the state of the economy and the consistency of government policies. In this effort, labor and business must join hands. Most important to the people are job creation and economic recovery. Although impeachment is gloomy news, it can be turned into a blessing if we manage it wisely.