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Finance minister urges preemptive action against China risks

All News 15:33 January 18, 2016

SEJONG, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's finance minister called Monday for preemptive measures to block any fallout from economic uncertainties including a Chinese slowdown.

"Earlier than expected, external downside risks stemming from China are drawing nearer," Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho was quoted as telling a meeting of senior ministry officials.

"We have to tighten the monitoring of local and global financial markets and take preemptive risk management measures."

A recent rout in the Chinese stock market has roiled the world economy from the beginning of the New Year, with an obvious slowdown in the world's second-largest economy and South Korea's biggest trading partner.

A freefall in crude oil prices is also a headache to the policymakers of South Korea, whose exports have been on a decline for months due mainly to weakening demand in emerging countries.

Oil prices are expected to go down further as oil-rich Iran is set to enter the global energy market after U.S.-led sanctions were just lifted.

"With the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran, we have to check its effects on exports, oil prices and overseas business opportunities like construction projects," said Yoo.

Since his inauguration last week, Yoo has stressed preventive measures against overseas factors, including a U.S. rate hike and an economic slowdown in China.

He said he will make efforts to put the South Korean economy back on the right track by concentrating on fiscal spending and revitalizing sagging exports.


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