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(LEAD) S. Korea to offer over US$400 mln to emerging nations for coronavirus-related health projects

All News 08:55 April 27, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS remarks, details in last 7 paras, new photo)

SEJONG, April 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will offer more than US$400 million to emerging nations this year to help them push for health projects against the novel coronavirus, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Monday.

Hong made the remarks at a meeting with economy-related ministers earlier in the day as South Korea seeks to share coronavirus information with the world.

The money will be offered through the nation's Economic Development Cooperation Fund, Hong said.

South Korea will also postpone debt payments worth $110 million for 26 nations in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Hong said.

South Korea's export-reliant economy is expected to experience a "big shock" as the pandemic has crippled global trade, Hong told the meeting.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki speaks during a videoconference with officials on April 27, 2020. in this photo provided by the ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Uncertainties at global financial markets rose as oil prices crashed and foreign direct investments dropped worldwide, Hong said.

South Korea will preemptively cope with global economic uncertainties caused by the pandemic, Hong said.

In May, the government will draw up a plan to help South Korean firms win bids for foreign infrastructure projects, Hong said.

South Korea's economy contracted 1.4 percent on-quarter in the first quarter of this year, marking the sharpest quarterly contraction since the fourth quarter of 2008.

Hong said last week that the pandemic's shocks to South Korea's exports and job markets could widen in the second quarter.

The government announced an aid package worth 40 trillion won ($32 billion) for key industries hit by the pandemic and another 10 trillion-won scheme to protect jobs.

South Korea's exports sank 27 percent on-year in the first 20 days of April to $21.7 billion.


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