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Korean economy intact from Choi scandal

The South Korean economy remains "on track" despite the influence-peddling scandal which rocked the country over past few weeks, an official from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said Monday.

Randall Jones, the OECD's Japan and Korea desk head, said there has been no significant change in the country's stock and foreign exchange market in relation to the scandal surrounding President Park Geun-hye's confidante Choi Soon-sil, who allegedly exerted influence on state affairs.

The official added that South Korean companies, however, face risks every five years as new presidents tend to set new economic directions, such as Park's creative economy drive.

Creative economy refers to Park's flagship policy that aims to merge innovation with different industrial sectors, mainly in such areas as information and communications technologies, to generate new business opportunities and foster more economic growth.

Jones added South Korea boasts a quality and talented workforce, adding that the government should focus on helping companies to utilize such factors, rather than changing economic paradigms every five years.

Concerning the anticipated changes sparked by US President-elect Donald Trump, Jones said Seoul must be aware of potential protectionism-related developments. 

The OECD expert also said South Korea must overcome low productivity, conflict among conglomerates and small businesses, and relatively lower wages of its irregular workers to bolster its economy.

(Yonhap)

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