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Acting president puts top priority on job creation

All Headlines 11:27 January 05, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) -- Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Thursday vowed to prioritize creating new jobs this year through various policy tools such as deregulation and expanded support for venture firms and businesses eyeing overseas markets.

During the New Year's policy briefing on economic affairs, Hwang called for "creativity" in finding new business opportunities to revitalize the economy, which has been facing weak exports and flaccid domestic consumption. South Korea has been struggling with the fallout from the restructuring of major industries and uncertainties from U.S. interest hikes and Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

"With the government putting job creation at the center of state affairs, we will have to actively help local firms create jobs through budgetary and taxation support, and draw up measures for young adults and woman, who are having difficulty landing jobs," he said.

Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn speaks during the New Year's policy briefing on economic affairs at the central government complex in Seoul on Jan. 5, 2017. (Yonhap)

"As forging favorable conditions for investors through regulatory reform is a short cut to expanding jobs, the government has to carry out a review of the existing regulations and take bold steps to improve them," he added.

Hwang took over as acting president on Dec. 9 after the National Assembly voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye over a highly charged corruption scandal.

The acting president, in particular, pledged to make policy efforts to support enterprises seeking to make inroads into foreign infrastructure markets, which he said will help create jobs, secure new growth engines and boost sagging exports.

He directed policymakers to find ways to "innovate" export routes by creating new mainstay products and encouraging the use of electronic business transactions.

Hwang, in addition, called for more efforts to better cope with external economic uncertainties.

"We have to strengthen our efforts to respond to uncertainties in the world economy by establishing mutually beneficial economic and trade relations with the incoming U.S. government and through multilateral forums such as the Group of 20 (leading economies) and the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation)," he said.

He also stressed the need for thorough measures to manage internal economic risk factors such as swelling household debts and underperforming businesses.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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