[EDITORIALS]Present concrete goalsThis year is the 10th anniversary of the financial crisis of the late 1990s. Eight years have passed since the announcement of ending the foreign exchange crisis but our economy show no signs of recovery.
Before the financial crisis, the annual growth rate was 8 percent. The figure now hovers at 4 percent, below the potential growth rate. Investment increased by two digits each year before the crisis. But since 2000, investment has increased by less than 3 percent annually.
Our economy used to be the world’s 11th largest in terms of gross domestic product but fell to 12th as emerging economies such as China (6th), India (10th) and Brazil (11th) surpassed us.
Our gross domestic product per capita ranks 29th, remaining at the level of what the Group of Seven countries used to have 36 years ago. An entire decade has been lost since the foreign exchange crisis.
The International Monetary Fund warned us that if our political, economic and social systems failed to be improved and conflict among different sectors and different classes worsened, our growth rate would fall to the 2 percent level in ten years.
As competition becomes more and more fierce because of globalization, if we do not advance, we can’t stay where we are either. Developing countries chase us at an alarming pace so we will be surpassed. If our economy does not make a leap forward, it can no longer stay still.
The only solution is for people to work together to make our country an advanced one. A realistic and feasible target is to join the group of ten countries. Once we become one of the ten richest countries in the world, we will not be surpassed easily by developing countries and will have a better chance to chase the group of seven countries.
The target of joining the group of seven, which the Samsung Economic Research Institute and the JoongAng Ilbo’s economic institute jointly presented, is both realistic and urgent. It is feasible so we should not fail to achieve the goal.
We hope that the presidential hopefuls will present concrete goals to become one of the group of ten countries and exact timelines to achieve that goal, instead of saying vague plans such as they will make our country an advanced one or show a rosy picture for the future.
The candidates should present detailed and concrete plans on how to pursue and achieve this goal before they get their final evaluation by the people.