President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday stressed the importance of the third supplementary budget in shoring up the economy, saying that the novel coronavirus-triggered economic crisis will begin in earnest.
“The third supplementary budget bill will include comprehensive measures for rebounding domestic demand. The economic crisis will unfold in earnest. The third supplementary budget must not miss the timing,” Moon said at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, stressing that measures must be implemented quickly.
The National Assembly has passed one supplementary budget, and is currently reviewing the second supplementary budget bill.
“The situation in the second quarter is expected to become worse than the first quarter, in which negative economic growth was recorded,” Moon said, adding that despite Korea’s economic being impacted less than developed nations, a quick turnaround is unlikely.
Citing the dip in exports seen so far this month, Moon said that the impact of the pandemic is being felt across industries.
According to the Korea Customs Service, South Korea’s exports for April 1 to 20 came to $21.73 billion, down 26.9 percent compared to the same period last year.
“The government must build a national system that concentrates all capabilities on overcoming the crisis,” Moon said, describing the situation as an “economic war.”
Moon also called on concerned government bodies to work as one coalescing around Hong Nam-ki, the deputy prime minister for economy.
The president went on to call on the ministers to quickly roll out measures decided at the emergency economic meeting, including the disaster relief subsidy.
Moon said that as the world economy will be slow to recover, the country must start with boosting domestic demand, and called on the officials to make preparations to enable measures to be rolled out as soon as possible.
Calling for “aggressive measures” to facilitate investment, Moon again stressed the idea of introducing “Korean version of New Deal.”
Moon voiced the idea of a Korean version of the New Deal at last week’s emergency economy meeting, saying that the government will spearhead the efforts to create jobs.
“Review plans for large-scale digital-based IT projects that use local technologies and human resources,” Moon said, going on to list distance medical services, online education and smart-city technologies as examples.
By Choi He-suk (email@example.com