Ministers call for more corporate investment, hiring

Ministers call for more corporate investment, hiring

The government said Tuesday that it would fully support corporate investment and hiring plans in order to keep the nation’s economic growth momentum for this year.

“The government will make every possible effort to support companies’ active hiring and investment, such as eliminating the regulatory factors that hinder job creation,” Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said.

The chief economic policymaker revealed the plan during a rare meeting between a group of government ministers and heads of the nation’s major business associations.

It comes at a time when the government is urging the business community to expand hiring for youth and investments, while major companies are calling for flexibility in hiring and restructuring.

The meeting was attended by Yoo, four ministers and five business leaders, including Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Park Yong-maan and the Federation of Korean Industries chairman Huh Chang-soo.

The finance minister also said the government will stay open to ideas and recommendations extended by the exporters, calling for their participation in pioneering new industries with high growth potential.

He also said the government would announce concrete economic support measures Wednesday, which could include stimulus for private spending ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.

Amid rising uncertainties in the global economy, low oil prices and the Bank of Japan’s unprecedented introduction of negative interest rates, export-dependent Korea is trapped in low growth, with its exports having tumbled 18.5 percent in January from the previous year, the largest on-year fall since August 2009.

To revive the sagging economy, the ministers and business leaders discussed ways to induce domestic players to export and to secure a larger variety of online channels for export.

The attendees also agreed that the Korean economy must take full advantage of the free trade pact with China, in addition to increasing business ties with India and Vietnam and making fast inroads into the returning market of Iran.

“The government and industry leaders will join hands for a full-fledged reorganization of their approach to sorting out the export items, markets, market penetration and support system,” the Finance Ministry said in a press release after the meeting.


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