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“Economic Policy Should Consider Protection of the Socially Underprivileged”

“Economic Policy Should Consider Protection of the Socially Underprivileged”

Posted January. 24, 2007 06:20,   


President Roh Moo-hyun said yesterday, “When it comes to systematically improving the public’s livelihood, narrowing the gap between the rich and poor is absolutely essential.” Roh added, “In order to narrow this gap, it is imperative for us to maintain a balanced economy that stresses the importance of the protection of socially underprivileged groups.”

These words were released during President Roh’s New Year special speech live broadcast yesterday from 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. In the speech titled “Evaluating Four Years of the Participatory Government and the 21st National Development Strategy,” President Roh also stressed, “Social policy is as important as economic policy.”

By pointing out the successful outcomes of the current government’s social investment and its future direction, President Roh refuted “minimal statism,” a term that the Grand National Party adopted to criticize the Roh government, saying, “The current government is not a small government but a dutiful and efficient one.”

President Roh also stressed, “Since Korea is expected to have a $20,000 per capita income this year, a new strategy should be developed that gears up this society into the $30,000 per capita income era.” As key factors of this strategy, President Roh mentioned democracy, market economy, innovation, aggressive market opening, balanced development, and establishment of peace in the North East Asian region.

Following this, President Roh added, “Rather than concentrating only on economic growth, this society should also have a comprehensive understanding of and a pursuit of other strategies such as social investment, social capital, and balanced growth.”

Meanwhile, President Roh also mentioned his recent presidential term proposal, saying, “For furthering the nation’s development in the 21st century, it is important to make timely reforms and prepare ourselves for changes like this. In this context, I propose a constitutional amendment to allow a two term presidency.”

Apart from this speech, President Roh is also scheduled to hold a New Year’s press conference at Cheong Wa Dae in which he is expected to deal with important pending issues and general policy matters.