SEOUL, May 14 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in strongly indicated Tuesday that he would stick to the current economic policy despite controversies, especially over the income-led growth strategy and plans to phase out nuclear energy use.
"In general, our economy is moving toward success," he said during a speech at a Seoul event for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) hosted by the Korea Federation of SMEs.
The liberal president entered his third year in office this week.
Apparently mindful of recent economy-related data, which suggests growing troubles for Asia's fourth-largest economy, Moon said, "It takes time for the fundamental change of an economic policy to take root."
He emphasized the significance of SMEs in South Korea's economy and pledged that his government will provide all-out support such as tax benefits and innovative financing.
"Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a society for an SME to succeed," Moon said. "For the stable operation of SMEs, a state should share risk burdens and responsibility."
He pointed out that his administration plans to use nearly 22 trillion won (US$18 billion) of budgets this year alone for a total of 1,653 projects to help SMEs. It marks a 10 percent hike from related spending last year.
The government will also establish 4,000 smart factories in 2019 and expand the number to 30,000 by 2022 for half of the country's SMEs with at least 10 employees, Moon added.
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