• Govt Unveils Economic Policy Direction For H2

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki (C) speaks during a press conference in Seoul.
Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki (C) speaks during a press conference in Seoul.

The government has unveiled its economic policy direction for the second half of this year to revive the nation's economy severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement comes as the finance ministry sharply slashed its growth outlook for the year to 0.1 percent.

Julie Sohn reports.


The finance ministry predicted that South Korea's economy will grow 0.1 percent this year, a sharp cut from a 2.4 percent growth forecast last December.

The gloomy outlook comes as the coronavirus outbreak has started to have a negative impact on South Korea's exports, which is expected to fall 8 percent this year.

As part of measures to fuel an economic recovery through investment, the government will stick to its plan for 100 trillion-won investment projects, which will include large-scale projects by state-run firms.

In order to bolster private consumption, the government will hold nationwide shopping festivals on June 26 for two weeks and give free transportation tickets to some 20,000 people.

As part of efforts to create new growth engines after the pandemic wanes, the government also introduced details for its "Korean-version New Deal" project.

The project focuses on boosting state spending on artificial intelligence and fifth-generation telecommunication services.

It also includes a "Green New Deal" which will promote the renewable energy industry and increase energy self-sufficiency.

The government plans to invest 31.3 trillion won into the projects by 2022, seeking to create 550,000 jobs.

In order to fully implement the stimulus plan, the government is expected to submit to parliament a third supplementary budget bill that many believe will be larger than the first two combined.

<Photo: Yonhap News>
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