Finance chief says emerging markets key

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Finance chief says emerging markets key

Korea’s new partners for economic cooperation will be the emerging countries in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok said at an overseas economic meeting yesterday.

“As advanced economies face a slowdown, the axis of growth is moving toward emerging economies,” Hyun said. “For the Korean economy, highly reliant on overseas economies, those emerging countries could be a source of new growth and a solution to the current crisis.”

The government has embarked on devising customized strategies to fit the political and economic situation of each emerging country.

The government believes it is crucial to secure energy from oil producers in the Middle East and North Africa. The United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt and Libya are being considered.

Meanwhile, South Asia will be a target for exports in coming years. The country is preparing for free trade agreements with India and Vietnam.

Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar are also new Asian partners the Korean government sees as important for the future.

The government is eyeing Latin America to clinch orders for infrastructure construction, with Brazil and Costa Rica as target markets.

“The construction industry has been leading efforts to venture into overseas economies, but it was overly focused on certain regions like the Middle East and many of the orders were of low value,” the finance minister said.

According to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, emerging countries accounted for 36.4 percent of global GDP growth in 2011, up from 23.9 percent in 2005.



By Song Su-hyun [ssh@joongang.co.kr]

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