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Hong pledges sweeping deregulation, business-friendly policy

All News 17:38 April 13, 2017

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- Hong Joon-pyo, the presidential candidate of the conservative Liberty Korea Party, pledged Thursday to become a market-friendly leader by swiftly removing regulations that hinder business competitiveness and weigh on growth and employment.

The rightist politician also assured business leaders that he will uphold the Constitution that guarantees "the freedom and creative initiative of enterprises and individuals in economic affairs."

"If I take office as president, I will undo all (unnecessary) regulations within a year," Hong said during the lecture hosted by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Hong Joon-pyo, the presidential candidate of the conservative Liberty Korea Party, speaks during a lecture, hosted by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in Seoul on April 13, 2017. (Yonhap)

"Regulations have been the most effective means (for a government) to control enterprises," he said. "(The regulations) have given rise to low economic growth and a lack of jobs for young adults."

Hong, in addition, vowed not to raise corporate tax rates, saying that increasing taxes on businesses to bankroll welfare programs for low-income brackets "runs counter to the economic order of a free democracy."

"If we take power, we will roll out a policy to revive businesses ... a policy never seen in past administrations," he said.

Hong has been placed third in recent opinion polls with his support ratings boxed in woeful single digits ahead of the May 9 vote. The election is seen more favorable to the liberal bloc following a massive corruption scandal involving former President Park Geun-hye.

The race is seen shaping up to be a duel between Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic Party and Ahn Cheol-soo of the center-left People's Party with their ratings hovering over 30 percent each.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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