Lawmakers agree to cooperate on deregulation

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Lawmakers agree to cooperate on deregulation

In a rare show of bipartisan cooperation, lawmakers agreed on Friday to work on legislation that would ease regulations on businesses and boost the tech industry.

The floor leaders and policy chiefs of three political parties met early in the morning to coordinate on legislation. The meeting came one day after President Moon Jae-in appealed for the National Assembly’s cooperation on economic and welfare issues.

Senior officials of the ruling Democratic Party, main opposition Liberty Korea Party and minor opposition Bareunmirae Party agreed to combine their respective bills aimed at designating new business areas and districts with regulatory benefits, and to try to pass them during next week’s plenary session. They also pledged to move forward proposals to cut red tape and increase support for new tech industries and companies.

A few deregulation proposals are currently pending in the National Assembly with parties differing on the details. The Democratic Party wants to create special regional zones while opposition parties are calling for across-the-board deregulation in designated industries. The floor leaders said the parties will review and integrate each other’s bills before sending them to a floor vote next week.

Lawmakers also agreed in principle to enact a law to better protect tenants in commercial buildings as part of efforts to support small businesses hit hardest by a slow domestic economy and recent minimum wage increases. They have proposed increasing the period in which tenants’ contracts are guaranteed a renewal.

The current period is five years, and the Democratic Party wants to extend it to 10 while the Liberty Korea Party has proposed eight.

“In principle, we agreed to pass the bill in the legislative and judiciary committee,” Kim Sung-tae, the floor leader of the Liberty Korea Party, told reporters. “The negotiation groups need to further consult on details.”

Lawmakers will also work on special legislation to allow non-financial firms to have a bigger stake in internet banks as well as a proposal to designate heat waves and cold snaps as natural disasters.

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