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“I Will Focus on Hand-in-Hand Growth to Stabilize Polarized Economy”

“I Will Focus on Hand-in-Hand Growth to Stabilize Polarized Economy”

Posted January. 13, 2005 22:36,   


President Roh Moo-hyun stressed on January 13, “In order to stabilize the ever-worsening economic polarization over the past 10 years, I will focus on a ‘hand-in-hand’ policy that allows large-, mid-, and small-sized corporations, the metropolitan area and non-metropolitan area, and export and domestic demand to strike a balance and grow hand-in-hand.” The president said in a press conference marking the New Year in Chunchu Hall in Cheong Wa Dae, “If the polarization of our economy is prolonged, not only will the income disparity widen, but also the growth potential and foundation of social integration will be greatly shaken.”

He particularly noted, “I plan to support mid- and small-sized companies that are lagging behind by innovating their technologies and nurturing human resources so that they can catch up and overcome income disparity among workers to let employment and growth go together,” adding, “Mid- and small-sized companies will be at the center of our economic policy, and 30,000 technological innovative mid- and small-sized firms will be nurtured.”

He also told reporters, “I will never give up on issues regarding petty self-employed people whose businesses are largely determined by the state of the economy and present concrete solutions in the first half of this year,” and promised, “I will lay out a way to address credit delinquent issues by the end of March for those whose basic livelihoods are supported by the nation and the petty self-employed within the limit in which they show no moral hazard behavior.”

As part of ways to stabilize the ordinary people’s livelihoods, President Roh proposed: activating long-term mortgage system for small rental houses for ordinary people; introducing long-term tuition loan system that allows university students from ordinary or middle class families to pay back the money for 20 years maximum; actively enforcing a system to first protect the poor, underprivileged class and then take legal proceedings; and creating 400,000 jobs this year.

The president added, “By 2008, we will see an era of $20,000 per capita income, and by 2010, we will join the ranks of advanced economies in many economic indices,” and accentuated, “I will nurture the knowledge service industry more than anything else for an advanced industrial structure and proactively pursue a strategy as an open trade country including establishing FTAs.”

In the meantime, President Roh, regarding the stir created by resignation of former vice economic prime minister, related, “I accepted the resignation of the presidential chief secretaries for civil affairs and personnel to apologize to the public, as they seemed to hold others accountable when it was I, the president, who was at fault,” and said, “I will make a system within this year to assign the job of personnel examination to an agency outside Cheong Wa Dae like the Korea Independent Commission Against Corruption.”

On North and South Korea summit talks, he noted, “I have an intention to come to the summit meeting regardless of subject, time, and place if my North Korean counterpart agrees,” yet he pointed out, “Chances are low at present, and it is not good to create an atmosphere for the meeting time and again, as the more you stick to something that stands a low chance of success, the less negotiability you have.”

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com