Rep. Yoon Young-seok from the ruling People Power Party met with Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, and discussed the importance of fiscal discipline during his visit to Europe.
"Though Korea has been stepping up as a global leader of various high-tech industries, it is at a time in which the introduction of fiscal discipline like that of the EU is needed for the fiscal stability of the future, considering the unprecedented low fertility rate and aging population,” Yoon said during a meeting held at the ECB Tower in Frankfurt, Germany, on Wednesday (local time).
Lagarde agreed, saying, "It is important to maintain a fiscal position which minimizes national debts and calls for a structural reform of expenditures.”
The meeting was held while Yoon and four more lawmakers from both the ruling People Power Party and the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea were visiting Spain, France and Germany, April 18-27.
Rep. Yoon, who is the head of the Strategy and Finance Committee at the National Assembly, also touched on the leading role of Korean companies in high-tech industries -- from secondary batteries to semiconductors to solar energy -- at this time in which the world is facing challenges stemming from climate change.
"Korea needs to continue the innovation to increase productivity. It is the key pillar of Korea's growth,” Lagarde said. "Europe needs to learn from Korea's labor, education, innovation and pride."
Prior to meeting with Lagarde, Yoon visited the Bank of Korea's offices in Frankfurt to discuss how the set of proposals called the European Green Deal, which aims to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050, will affect Korea’s supply network and businesses.
During his visit, Yoon also met with Kerri-Ann Jones, deputy secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and Xavier Musca, chief executive officer of French international banking group Credit Agricole.