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Finance minister stresses gov't efforts to tackle structural problems, external risks

South Korea's finance minister on Friday highlighted ongoing government efforts to address security risks and a set of structural problems such as economic polarization so as to spur growth.

Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon, who doubles as the deputy prime minister for economic affairs, made the remarks during a meeting with former high-ranking officials, which was arranged to listen to their advice on how to revitalize Asia's fourth-largest economy.

Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon (left) speaks at a meeting with former deputy prime ministers and ministers in Seoul on Friday. Yonhap
Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon (left) speaks at a meeting with former deputy prime ministers and ministers in Seoul on Friday. Yonhap

"We have been striving to address structural problems in our society and economy, but I think we might have been better in handling those issues had we learned more from your resolve and capabilities," Kim said during the meeting.

"Though we may lack capabilities, you can rest assured that we are trying to solve (the problems) based on our convictions, resolutely and with a sense of balance," he added.

Participants exchanged their views on various issues, including one regarding the fourth industrial revolution marked by the convergence of leading-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

"As the fourth industrial revolution shows, we are in a period of time that is wholly different from what it has so far been," said Kang Kyong-shik, who served as deputy prime minister in 1997.

"If we successfully deal with this, we can leap forward to join the ranks of the advanced countries, but we do have concerns about what if things go wrong," he added.

SaKong Il, who served as finance minister from 1987-88, called for a "shift in thinking" to cope with the fast-paced changes in the industry.

"In this era of the fourth industrial revolution, we need a shift in thinking, and the leadership of the deputy prime minister for economic affairs and the role of the finance ministry are crucial," he said.

He, in addition, stressed the need for close cooperation and communication among different departments of the finance ministry and between the government and citizens to better adapt to the changing industrial environment. (Yonhap)

 

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