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[Editorial] Increase Economic Expansion Efforts

Posted January. 04, 2006 03:03,   


China and India, two countries that account for 37 percent of the world’s population, are changing the world’s economic landscape.

China announced that its economy grew an estimated 9.8 percent last year, the highest figure since it posted 10.2 percent growth rate in 1995. China’s investment in fixed assets increased a whopping 25 percent. This rapid growth has helped China develop into one of the world’s top-5 economic powers.

India also achieved high growth of over 7 percent last year. A spate of Indian talents in advanced countries, including the U.S., are returning home.

China accelerated its efforts to expand trade by joining the WTO in 2002 and signing a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations last year. It has also continued to attract foreign capital as the “factory of the world.”

India started implementing a liberalization policy in 1991 and has at last emerged as a global IT center. For economic development, India ended a longstanding hostile relationship with Pakistan. SAFTA, the South Asian Free Trade Association, which came into effect on January 1, 2006, will accelerate the country’s economic growth.

In the meantime, Japan has decided to invest 25 trillion yen in the development of scientific technology over the next five years. Japanese manufacturers are significantly increasing investments in building production facilities for cutting-edge products. Japan is so confident of its economic future that it even talks about the longest economic boom since the end of World War Two. The U.S. is painting a rosy picture of its economy this year as well, following last year.

It is time for Korea to make the most of this rising world economic trend. However, it is deadlocked and mired in controversies over wealth distribution or historic wrongs, while the rest of the world is focusing on expanding their economies by increasing investment and trade.

Korea posted an economic growth rate of about 3-4 percent, and its facility investment has been at a standstill for the last three years. It has only 3 FTA partners : Chile, Singapore, and EFTA, whose members are small European countries.

Korea cannot lag behind in global competition for growth. Falling behind in competition and growth means ending in failure. The government, businesses, and the public must join forces again. That should start from the president, who recently said, “We should no longer talk about “all-in” in the economy or politics.”