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Gov`t, academia at odds over success of reforms

Posted February. 15, 2001 17:26,   


The government-led reform of the corporate, financial, public and labor sectors will be completed at the end of this month but there are still some obstacles to surmount. The government said it has almost achieved its earlier targets, whereas a number of private experts said the success of restructuring was an illusion.

Noting that he would give the government a ¡°C+¡± for its reform efforts, Korea University economics professor Lee Man-Woo said, ¡°The fact that the government did not keep to its principles with respect to some large enterprises was the biggest failure.¡±

Prof. Chung Un-Chan of Seoul National University said, ¡°Considering that the core areas of reform were the liquidation of nonviable companies and the removal of bad loans at financial institutions, I have no choice but to judge that the reform effort is a failure.¡±

Meanwhile, Lee Kun-Kyong, deputy minister of finance and economy, said that enterprises and financial institutions have shored up their financial status through the removal of non-performing assets and that the government has laid the foundation for a transparent market system. "Although we cannot say that the reform has fully taken root, in the overall view, we can say that the government has accomplished its goals in the major four sectors," Lee said. The government plans to announce the completion of its retooling efforts in the four major sectors early next month in a joint press conference by relevant ministers, including Deputy Premier and Finance-Economy Minister Jin Nyum.