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Minister urges passage of economic bills

Ruling party and ministry agree to legislate 15 of 100 pending bills during regular Assembly session

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok further urged lawmakers to pass and legislate key economic bills and amendments at the National Assembly.

In a meeting with lawmakers of the ruling Saenuri Party on Tuesday, Hyun and ruling party officials agreed to first move forward with 15 of the some 100 bills pending legislation at the National Assembly.

Hyun said that the government has worked hard in devising a set of measures aimed at revitalizing the economy such as policies promoting the venture industry and boosting the real estate market.

It is imperative that the government and the political circles work together and urgently pass those bills when the economy is recovering, the finance minister said, stressing that otherwise it would be too late for those measures to effectively encourage private investment.

The Korean economy has grown moderately at around 1 percent for two straight quarters, and achieved an annual growth of 3 percent in the third quarter for the first time in seven quarters, Hyun noted.

“In baseball, hitters always hit a good ball,” the finance minister told the ruling party lawmakers. “The National Assembly and the incumbent government must join forces (with such measures) to back Korean companies to make a ‘base hit’ and score points amid an economic turnaround.”

Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, cannot sit idly by when neighboring countries such as China and Japan are moving fast to boost growth, Hyun said.

Deputy Prime Minister Hyun said that about 100 bills and amendments related to economic revitalization are sitting idly at the National Assembly.

The 15 bills he asked lawmakers to expedite concern foreign investment, tourism, the housing market and the start-up industry.

The Ministry of Strategy and Finance last May announced a package of measures to boost venture investment and support mergers and acquisitions.

The ministry said that it would allow investors and entrepreneurs to delay payments of capital gains taxes if they reinvest their profits into new start-ups.

The Park Geun-hye government has been drawing up its master plan for a “creative economy” to establish an ecosystem where entrepreneurs and investors can launch businesses and reinvest or restart them even after failure.

By Park Hyong-ki (