Moon worried about economic ‘emergency’

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Moon worried about economic ‘emergency’

President Moon Jae-in ordered his cabinet on Tuesday to mobilize all available “special” means to handle the “emergency economic situations” attributable to the continued spread of the new coronavirus.

“Emergency situations require an emergency prescription. The current situation is much more serious than [we] thought,” Moon said during his opening remarks during a weekly cabinet meeting at the Blue House. “It is the time when special measures are absolutely necessary to use every possible means that the government can mobilize.”

Moon’s call reflects his resolve to minimize the epidemic’s impact on the Korean economy, which the government said was on the cusp of revival starting in the last quarter of 2019.

“This is not enough,” he added. “In order to respond to the emergency economic situations, I want you to exert policy-related imagination that goes beyond expectations with no restrictions.”

He cited the expansion of tax incentives and regulatory reform to promote corporate investment, special financial support for small- and medium-sized firms and measures to relieve tiny shop owners of rent burdens.

Earlier in the day, Korea reported its 31st confirmed case of the virus, despite some signs of the spread slowing amid a relatively thorough web of pan-national quarantine networks.

Moon also noted Korea isn’t alone in the fight, calling for close international cooperation.

“In addition to the situations in China, which are still serious, the worsening ones in Japan are emerging as another variable,” he said. “To be safe from a contagious disease, it’s important for neighboring countries to stabilize the situations as early as possible.”

Moon stated it’s necessary for Korea to join hands with neighbors against a potential cross-border disaster.

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