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[Editorial] Let’s Push Hard for Economic Recovery by Appointing a Pro-market New Deputy Prime Minister

[Editorial] Let’s Push Hard for Economic Recovery by Appointing a Pro-market New Deputy Prime Minister

Posted March. 07, 2005 22:47,   


Finance Minister Lee Hun-jai, who also serves as deputy prime minister, resigned at a time when the economy is barely showing signs of recovery. It was undoubtedly impossible for him to continue his leadership in the nation’s economic policy taskforce, given the people’s increasing distrust that was sparked by suspicion of his speculation, particularly when “war against speculation” championed by the president is in full swing now. This scandal clearly shows how closely related the morality of high-ranking officials is to the degree of the people’s trust on their government.

Meanwhile, some worry that his departure might play a negative role in recovering the economy because he has represented the voice of the pro-market block within the Cabinet. We have seen his struggle of culling evil elements against pro-market activation.

However, what we have to do now is to search for a new minister who can take over Lee’s post. Of course, the screening process must be exhaustive. However, we should not give an opportunity to those who are unqualified for a spearheading role in the economic recovery. This case might be realized if we place an unreasonable stress on his or her integrity. We should not forget the fact that anti-market and anti-enterprise trends championed by some blocks of the current government have dampened investment and consumption over the last two years, and forced human capital and financial resources to flow to overseas markets, thereby leading the livelihood of middle class and common people to be more difficult. Those who can make the main actors of investment and consumption feel uneasy must not be appointed.

We need, for example, one who can set up an atmosphere under which private sectors such as enterprises can perform business activities with certainty. Also, we need one who can beef up the current upward trend of the economy while keeping political groups prone to particular ideology or code (way of thinking), and government officials involved in economic polices under control. Backed up by such economic leadership, the new figure should create social, legal, and institutional environments which can facilitate further investment and employment by corporations.

Even though the national administration is operated by a system, whoever takes a lead in the economic policy taskforce and what types of disposition they have will determine the psychological trend in market. The new deputy prime minister should minimize confusion in policies and maintain an upward trend in the economy after a long depression with basic stability. We expect a new deputy prime minister and finance minister like that.