Rival parties agreed Friday to work on legislation to ease business regulations and boost high-tech industries in rare bipartisan cooperation spurred by growing signs of economic slowdown.
The floor leaders and policy chiefs of three parties met early in the morning for coordination on pending bills. The meeting came one day after President Moon Jae-in appealed for the National Assembly's cooperation on the economy and public welfare during the ongoing extraordinary session that opened Thursday.
The senior officials of the ruling Democratic Party, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and the minor Bareunmirae Party agreed to combine their respective bills aimed at designating new business areas and districts with regulatory benefits, and to try to pass them during next week's plenary session.
They also pledged to move forward proposals to cut red tape and increase support for new technology convergence industries and information technology companies.
A few deregulation proposals are currently pending at the National Assembly as parties differ on details. The DP has submitted a law revision for creating regional special zones while opposition parties' proposals call for across-the-board deregulation in designated industries.
The floor leaders said the parties will review and integrate those bills and put them up for a floor vote next week.
The parties also agreed in principle to enact a law revision to better protect tenants at commercial buildings, as part of efforts to support small, self-employed businesses hit hardest by a slumping economy and recent minimum wage hikes.
The parties have proposed increasing the period for guaranteeing existing tenants' contract renewal from the current five years. The DP wants to extend it to 10 years while the LKP has proposed eight years.
"In principle, we agreed to pass the bill in the legislative and judiciary committee," Kim Sung-tae, the floor leader of the LKP, told reporters. "The negotiation groups need to further consult on details."
Lawmakers are also expected to handle special legislation designed to allow non-financial firms to have a bigger stake in Internet-only banks and a proposal to designate heat and cold waves as natural disasters. (Yonhap)