[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]South America is no model

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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]South America is no model

In the last month, I have visited five Latin American countries. It was a valuable experience for me with regard to the situation in Korea.
While in Mexico, I talked to Korean workers there. They were concerned about the reporting of Korean newspapers. They said the papers claim the Korean economy is collapsing little by little, which they believe is not true. Even if the economy is slow, they said, the newspapers should not hurt it more by exaggerating the economic distress. One said such reporting is suicidal because it only increases the interest rates on Korean bonds and dissuades foreign buyers from visiting Korea.
An article that I saw in the June 26 edition of the Financial Times supports this. The article said Korean newspapers are in a fuss saying that Korea’s current economic situation is like that of Japan’s before its long-term slump. But that is unwarranted. According to the article, executives from S&P and Barclay Capital said such an analysis by Korean newspapers is wrong.
Some Korean newspapers are even arguing that the Korean economy will become like that of South American countries. This kind of criticism which began with the launch of the new Roh Moo-hyun administration, sounds like an emotional and superficial attack rather than an analysis based on facts.
Korean newspapers’ favorite phrase is “Let’s learn from Lula da Silva.” International financial circles and media now praise Lula. This is because he pays back faithfully his country’s debts. But Lula has not done much in nurturing Brazil’s growth potential and in decreasing the gap between the rich and poor.

by Lee Seong-hyeong
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