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Moon hopes his economic policy will bear fruit next year

All News 15:22 December 19, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in expressed hope Thursday that his administration's economic policy will begin to bear fruit in earnest in 2020, saying it's preparing 100 trillion won (US$86 billion) worth of massive investment projects for the year.

He said the government will make Asia's fourth-biggest economy "more dynamic" by promoting the tourism industry, data economy and new industries, as well as boosting domestic consumption and strengthening the competitiveness of the materials, parts and equipment sectors.

"Next year is really the time for policies our government has carried out so far to yield achievements in earnest," the president said in his opening remarks during the "expanded meeting" with economy-related ministers at Cheong Wa Dae.

He instructed government officials to continue efforts for the revitalization of the economy with a sense of urgency that an "important moment" is imminent.

President Moon Jae-in (C) speaks at the start of the expanded meeting with economy-related ministers at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Dec. 19, 2019. (Yonhap)

President Moon Jae-in (C) speaks at the start of the expanded meeting with economy-related ministers at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Dec. 19, 2019. (Yonhap)

The purpose of the session was to review the economic policy direction for the past two and 1/2 years since Moon took office and discuss a strategy for the coming year.

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Economy and Finance unveiled a package of major policy plans for next year.

It announced that South Korea's economy is expected to grow 2.4 percent next year, up from a projected 2 percent expansion this year.

While some recent economic data have pointed to nascent recovery in various fields, Moon wants the people here to actually feel the results related to their lives.

He has faced criticism that his left-leaning economic and social policies have deepened South Korea's economic troubles amid a host of negative external factors, including the spread of protectionism.

Moon, however, stressed that raising minimum wages and shortening weekly working hours are "the way we must go."

He called for policy measures to "harmonize" South Korea's economic reality and goals so that the new system can take root.

He predicted that South Korea's overall economic situation will get better in 2020.

There are risk factors, however, such as global uncertainties and adjustments to construction investment at home, he pointed out.

"Accordingly, a recovery in facility investment and domestic demand, coupled with thorough risk management, is the key element to prop up a rebound in economic growth," Moon said.

Citing next year's state budget worth 512 trillion won, much of which will be used for welfare and other steps for the people's living, Moon said, "Conditions have been created for our economy to grow more dynamically and warmly."

Innovation and inclusiveness are core values that the government can't give up and its related campaign should and can succeed, he added.


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