“The fundamental solution to promote the South Korean economy is to shake off excessive anxiety and resume normal activities, especially economic activities and consumption,” said South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday regarding the novel coronavirus from China.
“South Korean people are excessively concerned and avoiding traditional markets, which are not helpful for either the lives of the people or the public economy,” said President Moon during a luncheon with merchants in Namdaemun Market in Seoul on Wednesday. This is the president’s second visit to a traditional market in three days following his visit to Onyang Oncheon Market in Asan, South Chungcheong Province on Sunday. He has been making efforts to revitalize the economy while warning against the weakening of economic sentiment due to the contagious coronavirus.
President Moon who showed up in the market wearing a mask shook hands with and encouraged merchants after having opted to not shake people’s hands for a while during his recent visits. “Busan is known for its fish cake – how is the business doing?” the president asked the owner of a Busan fish cake store, the first store into which he stepped. “There simply aren’t many customers these days. Business is not doing well,” the seller answered. To a ginseng seller who said, “I think the number of Chinese tourists has decreased by more than 70% compared to that before the new coronavirus,” the president double-checked asking, “There is only 30 percent of them after 70 percent reduction, not reduced to 70 percent?”
“We came here because we are worried. I hope our visit can bring some energy to you. The government will do its best to support small business owners and the current situation will be resolved” said President Moon. “Let’s cheer up each other and overcome it together.” Meanwhile, some merchants turned their back and went inside. The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae is planning to focus on developing measures to promote the economy in the belief that the increase of new confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus is slowing down.