Officials resolve to jump-start economy in 2017

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Officials resolve to jump-start economy in 2017

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Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho; Yim Jong-yong, Financial Services Commission Chairman and Choi Yang-hee, Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning. [JOONGANG ILBO]

In their New Year speeches, top officials in the economic sector warned of the growing risks of a downfall next year and the need to preemptively tackle such difficulties.

Deputy Prime Minister of Economics and Minister of Strategy and Finance Yoo Il-ho vowed to focus on risk management to boost domestic consumption and to attract more investors to the country.

“2017 is expected to be another tough year for us due to various uncertainties coming from both the nation and abroad, including the recent interest hike and the possible policy changes in the incoming administration in the United States and the ongoing corporate restructuring in the country,” said Yoo. “The government will proceed with various policies to deal with living conditions for low-income households and small-business owners and to help young Koreans find jobs. We have overcome various economic hardships that we faced in the past by the joint efforts by the government and people and I believe we can meet that goal once again next year if we all work hard to accomplish it.”

Yoo mentioned the structural challenges in Korean demographics, where the birth rate remains low, while society is aging at a faster rate. The government will devise plans and policies to deal with such changes, he said.

Top financial policy maker Yim Jong-yong, in his New Year’s speech, raised the need of air-tight risk management, particularly against various uncertainties.

“A man doesn’t fall on a big mountain. It is the little stone that props out from the group that a person trips over,” Yim said. “Even the smallest risk factor can lead to a huge crisis and therefore we need to overcome the current situation we face with heightened alertness.”

Yim said the FSC will continue to manage the structural uncertainties coming from household debt and corporate restructuring by applying consistent principles in tackling the problems.

Choi Yang-hee, the minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning, said it is important for companies and people to work together to bolster science technology since it can help revive the economy. Choi added that the Science Ministry will expand to entrepreneurs to foster a start-up boom in the country.

“The Science Ministry will do its best to find new growth engines for the Korean economy, as Korea’s key industries’ competitiveness in the global market has weakened,” said Choi. He said the ministry will expand investments in developing new medicine and health care devices and remove administrative burdens for researchers.


BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]

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