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Finance minister meets with experts over 2017 policy plan

South Korea's finance minister said Thursday that the government will map out detailed plans to deal with possible changes in the economic policies of the United States under President-elect Donald Trump.

   "Drastic changes in the world trade environment such as strengthening protectionism will weigh heavily on the world economy and the South Korean economy, which highly depends on exports,"

Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said in a meeting in Seoul with heads of state-run think tanks and economic experts to discuss issues on the current market conditions in preparation for the government's 2017 policy plan.

   "It is important for the government to study the impact of a change in U.S. economic policies, and check its feasibility to draw up detailed countermeasures case by case," he said.

   The top economic policymaker said the government will consider every chance and risk of the surprise victory of the U.S. president election and put them into the 2017 economic policy plan to be announced next month.

   The economic and trade policies of the new U.S. administration are closely watched as the United States is the second-largest trade partner of South Korea after China, as exports of Asia's fourth-largest economy account for a third of its gross domestic product,

   South Korea has been in the doldrums as a global slowdown and low oil prices weighed heavily on its exports, the key economic driver, which posted negative monthly growth 21 times in the past 22 months.

   The finance ministry said it will keep close tabs on the financial markets at home and abroad and make full efforts to bring financial risks under control. (Yonhap)