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Finance minister urges business leaders to make active investment

South Korea’s finance minister on Tuesday called on business leaders to step up investment in order to help the government revitalize the sluggish economic recovery.

“At a time when the situations are not favorable at home and abroad, what we need the most is entrepreneurship,” Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan said during a meeting with dozens of senior businessmen in Seoul. “Our economy is facing a golden time that will determine whether it makes a leap forward or falls into a recession.”

Choi underscored his worries about the current state of the economy, citing sluggish domestic demand, protracted low consumer prices, a delayed recovery in the global economy and the possibility of a faster-than-expected rate hike by the U.S. He also cited a slowdown in the eurozone economy and the sharp depreciation of the Japanese currency as matters of concerns.

He, in particular, urged business people to effectively deal with the falling yen and come up with their own measures on the currency movement.

“A crisis can turn into an opportunity. As such, under this uncertain environment, (I) urge the business community to prepare for the future and venture out to make active investments with entrepreneurship,” Choi added.

The meeting was attended by about 40 high-ranking officials from companies with whom the government recently opened hotline communication channels, a move intended to show that the government will listen to their opinions and the challenges they face in their business activities.

This is the first off-line meeting with the business leaders since the launch of the hotline.

The finance minister assured them that the government will do its part in reviving the economic sentiment in a way that could help boost consumption and corporate investment. (Yonhap)
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