4+1 policy pushed by governmentRestructuring industry, labor and the private sector will be the focus for the government as it works to raise Korea’s national competitiveness.
During a government meeting on innovative growth and policy on Friday, Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beom said the government will commit itself to five areas next year, including: the innovation of industries by incorporating future technologies into existing manufacturing; the innovation of the labor market including wages, working hours and the way we work; the innovation of the public sector, including more efficient spending; and tackling changing structures, including those related to demographics and technologies; and regulatory innovation.
The five areas have been dubbed the “4+1” policy.
“In the 2020 economic policy direction, the government will include specific details on the structural reforms in the five areas that would help create the momentum that would drive the economy out of the difficult situation and help make a rebound,” Kim said, referencing the policy that will be announced later this month.
He said Korea is highly competitive in ICT, infrastructure and macroeconomic stability.
“However, when it comes to the labor market and regulation, we have long been at the lower end. The government will improve major indices including ranking below 50 on the IMD world competitiveness rankings and below 100 on the WEF competitiveness list,” Kim said, referring to the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF).
This year on the WEF list, Korea ranked No.1 on ICT and macroeconomic stability and world’s sixth on infrastructure, but it ranked No. 51 in terms of the labor market and 26 in terms of regulation.
The vice finance minister said while some of the changes that were undertaken were not fully reflected in the global institution’s competitiveness evaluation, the government will reform regulation overall in areas where performance was weak.
“In order to strengthen our economic competitiveness, fundamental structural reform is essential,” Kim said. “Despite our efforts so far, we have still a long way to go.”
During the meeting, Kim urged the National Assembly to approve next year’s budget so that the funding can be swiftly allocated to areas that are in need.
“As it was last year, this year the budget failed to be approved within the legal deadline,” Kim said.
The deadline was on Monday.
“The longer it takes in approving the budget, the longer it would take in executing them next year, and it will be the people that will face the losses.”
He said the budget needs to pass before the regular parliamentary session for this year end.
He also urged the lawmakers to approve the three-data reform bill that would ease regulation on private and credit information, which the government expects would boost technological applications.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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