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S. Korea pushes privately funded infrastructure projects worth W30tr

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki speaks during a meeting with economy-related ministers in Seoul on July 23. (Yonhap)
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki speaks during a meeting with economy-related ministers in Seoul on July 23. (Yonhap)

South Korea will push ahead with privately financed infrastructure projects worth more than 30 trillion won ($25.1 billion) this year, as part of its efforts to revive the coronavirus-battered economy, the Finance Ministry said Thursday.

The projects include construction of highways as well as sewage systems, worth 4.5 trillion won and 2.3 trillion won, respectively, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki in a meeting with economy-related ministers. 

The authorities also plan to attract 2.7 trillion won worth of private funds for new types of infrastructure projects such as development of hydrogen fueling stations, zero-carbon school buildings and classrooms based on advanced information and communications technologies. 

The move came in line with the government’s recently unveiled “Korean New Deal” policy drive, centered on two pillars -- the Green New Deal and Digital New Deal -- which aims to promote green growth initiatives as well as digital transformation across industries. 

“(The government) will ease tax rules and regulations imposed on private funds in order to draw investments,” Hong said.

Meanwhile, the top fiscal policymaker also pledged to build 1,000 plants for 5G network services and artificial intelligence by 2025. 

By Choi Jae-hee (cjh@heraldcorp.com)
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