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Moon says S. Korea's economy needs 'great transformation' in 2021

President Moon Jae-in speaks during an expanded session of the National Economic Advisory Council held at the headquarters of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in speaks during an expanded session of the National Economic Advisory Council held at the headquarters of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that South Korea should overcome the COVID-19 crisis and achieve a "grand transformation" of its economy in the coming year.

"We will have to turn 2021 into a period of great transformation of South Korea's economy. The beginning is to clearly overcome the coronavirus crisis," he said during an expanded session of the National Economic Advisory Council.

Moon received a briefing on the government's economic policy for 2021 and had related discussions in the event held at the headquarters of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Seoul.

He set a "speedy and strong economic recovery" and a grand transition to a "pacesetting" economy as the key policy direction.

South Korea has fared relatively well this year despite the pandemic, with the so-called Korea discount giving way to "Korea premium," he said.

"Policy responses next year will determine the future of our economy for years to come."

He stressed the urgency of containing the coronavirus spread.

"We would be able to say that we have completely surmounted the coronavirus crisis only when the lives of the people, as well as growth, are restored," he said.

The president called for the use of all available policy measures, including fiscal and financial ones, to pull off a clear recovery in the livelihoods of the people.

"In particular, housing stability for low- and middle-income people is more important than anything else," Moon emphasized.

He urged relevant authorities to push for swift, various and effective ways to expand the supply of homes.

He also cited the government's Green and Digital New Deal projects, saying it's time to produce a "concrete achievement."

Among participants in the council meeting were Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki and Lee Nak-yon, leader of the ruling Democratic Party, as well as members of the panel, mostly professors and researchers. (Yonhap)
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