President Moon Jae-in speaks at the economy meeting on Monday. Yonhap
President Moon Jae-in on Monday urged the National Assembly to quickly approve the third supplementary budget bill, stressing that South Korea’s government debt is growing at a slower rate than other major economies.
Speaking at an emergency economy meeting, Moon said the government will employ all resources at its disposal to offset the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, and to lay the foundations for building “pioneering economy.” Monday’s event was the sixth emergency economy meeting set up in response to the pandemic, and the first Moon presided over since April 22.
At the meeting, Moon said that while the country has fared better than other major economies, the government must act swiftly to prepare for more difficult times and to lay the foundations for the future.
“In the second half, the economy must be revived quickly to achieve growth. What’s more, the foundations for pioneering economy must be built to lead the way in the post-COVID-19 era,” Moon said.
Saying that the government has drawn up the largest-ever supplementary budget bill to fund related efforts, Moon urged the National Assembly’s cooperation.
“I earnestly implore the National Assembly for rapid review and approval of the supplementary budget bill that will be submitted within the week,” Moon said, adding that Korea’s national debt will rise at a slower rate than other major economies even after the third supplementary budget is executed.
Going on to say that the government will focus on supporting small businesses and corporations experiencing difficulties, Moon said that measures for strengthening job and social security will be expanded.
Moon said that measures for improving domestic spending including tax breaks, incentives for private sector investment and major public sector projects will be rolled out in the second half.
Moon also took the opportunity to highlight his vision of the “Korean New Deal.”
“Korean New Deal is a new national development strategy to rise as a leading nation,” Moon said, adding the “digital new deal” and “green new deal” are the two pillars of the plan.
Green new deal refers to plans for promoting the development of ecofriendly technologies and other related industries, while digital new deal refers to projects ranging from digitalizing national infrastructure to aiding the growth industries utilizing information technology.
“The Korean New Deal projects included in the supplementary budget bill are only the beginning. It will be a project that continuously discovers new projects, and expands investment,” Moon said.
“When the plans are drawn up in July, the public will be briefed on details of the plans that will be achieved within the term of the administration long with the comprehensive and long-term big picture.”
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)