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Fiscal chief says global economy on track for steep recovery

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki speaks during a meeting for the innovative growth of “big 3” industries at the government complex in Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap)
Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki speaks during a meeting for the innovative growth of “big 3” industries at the government complex in Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap)

The global economy is poised to make a strong rebound on the back of a revival in manufacturing and the coronavirus vaccine rollout, said Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki on Thursday.

“The upturn in the global economy will be steeper than expected,” he said at a meeting with government officials on innovative growth.

His remark came as Asia’s fourth-largest economy showed signs of recovery supported by exports.

“Exports are the core driving force of an economic recovery. … We will support every aspect of exports to accelerate the recovery,” he said.

The country’s outbound shipments stood at $53.8 billion in March, up 16.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Exports gained strength for the fifth consecutive month on memory chip and car sales.

Efforts to achieve an immediate economic recovery should be accompanied by preparation for social and economic changes in the post-COVID-19 era, Hong said.

The government is a taking two-track approach of seeking “adaptive” structural reform to deal with inevitable changes such as demographic and deglobalization issues while carrying out “proactive” reform on controllable tasks such as industrial structures and training, he added.

The reform will be focused on the data, network and artificial intelligence industries as well as the non-memory chip, bio-health and next-generation vehicle sectors, which the government calls the “Big 3” industries, in pursuit of job creation and innovation-driven growth.

“For the Big 3 industries, we will focus on providing a nurturing environment, pursuing innovative deregulation, forming ecosystems and strengthening infrastructure,” the minister said. 

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com

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