President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday promised to strengthen support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and venture startups, commending the innovations in those areas as key to the nation's post-pandemic economic recovery.
"We will surely prop up SMEs and venture companies as centers of the economic recovery in the coronavirus era and as leaders of the post-coronavirus digital economy," Moon said at the start of a weekly Cabinet meeting at Cheong Wa Dae.
The Cabinet reviewed the government's three-year plan to nurture SMEs, as part of the administration's broader New Deal project, a new signature policy by Moon aimed at creating jobs and revitalizing the economy.
The president stressed that SMEs have been at the forefront of the nation's efforts to create economic hope amid the onslaught of COVID-19 on the economy throughout the year. "SMEs have done their jobs as bedrocks in terms of exporting products related with the country's antivirus operations and non-contact items."
Moon also vowed to support innovation in the manufacturing industries and nurture the nation's industrial ecosystem so that large and small businesses can prosper together.
The president also promised to bolster emergency grants to small businesses under extreme financial stress due to the pandemic. Moon pledged to extend tax benefits to building landlords that offer breaks for pandemic-stricken business tenants.
Despite the prolonged pandemic, South Korea's exports rebounded for the first time in seven months in September to $48 billion, helped by increased shipments of chips and automobiles as major trade partners gradually resumed their business activities amid the pandemic. (Yonhap)