Top U.S. envoy urges N. Korea to release detained Americans

Finance chief assures firms that regulations will be pruned

Private sector asked to lead in achieving 3% growth in 2nd half

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Published : 2013-06-25 20:32
Updated : 2013-06-25 20:32

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok said Tuesday that the government would retool and improve some of its regulations that may have eroded confidence and hindered business growth.

Hyun met with leaders of Korea’s five business groups, including the Federation of Korean Industries, in a bid to ease concerns over the government’s push to tame unfair business practices and tax avoidance that may have increased tension in the industry.

The minister of Trade, Industry and Energy and the chiefs of the Fair Trade Commission, the National Tax Service, the Korea Customs Service and the Financial Service Commission attended the meeting as well.

Hyun said he hoped such policy and regulatory refinement would lead the private business sector to invest and create jobs that could eventually boost the economy and push it out of its low growth period.

This meeting came after the business sector raised concerns that the incumbent administration’s various policies and regulations seemed excessive. Last week, Hyun urged the chiefs of the NTS, the KCS and the FTC not to create side effects while enforcing their regulations.

The FKI and other groups asked the deputy prime minister to counter legislative moves that may adversely affect business activities.

Hyun said the government would listen closely to the private sector and together would try to resolve any issues that had a negative impact on businesses.

It is drawing up another set of measures aimed at boosting investment, which Hyun hoped could encourage the private sector to lead in achieving 3 percent growth in the latter half of this year.

Korea aims to break free from its long period of low growth in the second half of 2013 on the back of its fiscal and monetary stimulus. The finance minister told the Strategy and Finance Committee of the National Assembly that Korea would grow 3 percent in the second half and reach the traditional growth rate of 4 percent next year.

The finance minister added that the time was ripe for companies to boost investment when the U.S. is about to taper its quantitative easing.

The phase-out of the U.S. monetary stimulus meant that the world’s largest economy is recovering, Hyun noted, adding that this was positive for Korea, which depends on exports for growth.

The government said it would make sure that no negative factors spill over to companies that had been paying their taxes on time and running fair operations from those being investigated by state regulators on allegations of tax evasion and unfair business practices.

Also, Hyun told the business delegates that it will collaborate with the private sector to see whether the policies devised in the first half are properly being implemented in the second half of this year.

By Park Hyong-ki (hkp@heraldcorp.com)

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