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Industry minister vows to cut red tape to stimulate manufacturing

South Korea's industry minister vowed to cut red tape to ease the excessive burden felt by businesses and expand support for the slumping manufacturing industry.

Sung Yun-mo, minister of trade, industry and energy, renewed his pledge for deregulation in a meeting with representatives from the nation's leading companies.


Sung Yun-mo, South Korea's minister of trade, industry and energy, speaks during a meeting with business leaders of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Seoul on Nov. 12, 2018. (Yonhap)
Sung Yun-mo, South Korea's minister of trade, industry and energy, speaks during a meeting with business leaders of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Seoul on Nov. 12, 2018. (Yonhap)

"The main manufacturing sectors, such as auto and shipbuilding, are undergoing difficult times in the wake of growth by Chinese rivals and lack of general momentum that is negatively affecting local economy as well," Sung said in a meeting of business leaders from the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"I think the manufacturing industry is the root of the Korean economy and speeding up innovation in the manufacturing sector will spur growth and create quality jobs."

Sung stressed the government's role as a "support tower" for business activities in the private sector and facilitating collaboration between big and small enterprises.

To catch up with the latest industry trend, the policymaker vowed to simplify regulations in emerging technologies and expand support for research and development efforts in related areas.

During the meeting, the business leaders called for the government to adopt its energy transformation policy after taking into consideration the long-term impact on the local manufacturing industry.

Seoul has been seeking to shift its focus from coal and nuclear to renewable sources and is pushing for an increase of cheap nighttime industrial electricity prices.

Calls for the government's extensive support in a broad range of areas has risen amid slowing economic growth and a tight job market in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

South Korea's manufacturing sector output fell sharply in the first nine months of the year, with smaller businesses affected more than big companies, data by Statistics Korea showed.

The factory utilization rate has fallen to the lowest level in the January-September period since the 1998 Asian financial crisis, fueling concerns that the economy is showing signs of slowing down, according to the government data. (Yonhap)
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