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S. Korea committed to carrying out stimulus measures to vitalize economy: finance minister

All News 09:37 January 21, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's government will make all-out efforts to revitalize the economy by creating jobs, searching for new growth engines and reviving domestic demand and exports, the country's top economic policymaker said Thursday.

"The Chinese economy slowed down to 6 percent range growth last year, and the International Monetary Fund revised down the world economic growth forecast," Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said in a meeting with economy-related ministers in Seoul. "There is no sign of things recovering anytime soon."

He said the government is aware of these challenges and will do its utmost to push forward structural reform and economic renovation.

At the start of the week, the IMF downgraded its forecast for global growth this year by 0.2 percentage points to 3.4 percent, citing economic turbulence in China and financial uncertainties throughout emerging markets stemming from low oil prices.

The world's second-largest economy said that it grew 6.9 percent last year, marking the lowest growth rate in more than 25 years. The IMF estimated China's growth may dip further to around 6.3 percent this year.

South Korea, which is highly dependent on exports to fuel its economic growth, has been hit hard by the Chinese cooldown and weakening global demand.

Its outbound shipments plunged 7.9 percent, with their monthly figures posting negative growth throughout last year.

Yoo, who took office last week, said his top policy priority is to create jobs for the younger generation and achieve tangible recovery in domestic demand and exports.

"We will remove all obstacles that have hindered economic growth and job creation," he said. "The government will also try to reinvigorate the entire economy by reviving consumption and export."

The official, who doubles as deputy prime minister in charge of economic affairs, also called on the parliament to pass controversial labor reform bills, which have been held off due to heightening political tensions.

"We will implement all policy plans for this year to help every person feel the results of economic stimulus and recovery," the finance minister stressed.


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