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Korea sets its 2014 economic goals

Updated: 2013-12-27 PM 10:41:25 (KST)
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Boosting domestic demand, job creation and reforming the public sector -- those are the main economic objectives of the government for 2014.
Unveiling its economic policies for next year on Friday, the government pledged to promote investment and consumption by fostering the nation's service sector and providing tax breaks for small and medium-sized businesses.

"The main focus will be on improving vitality in domestic demand. The momentum of economic recovery initiated by the govenment this year will be expanded to the private sector, thereby solidifying the force of growth."

The government says while many ordinary people could not feel the benefits from record exports this year, increased domestic activities next year will improve their livelihoods.
To keep up with the momentum of recovery, fiscal spending will be frontloaded in the first half of the year.
The government will place an emphasis on job creation in 2014 when it expects some 450-thousand new jobs to be created.

The government, in particular, will step up efforts to boost employment among young people and women.
It'll set up a venture capital fund only for young entrepreneurs and offer incentives to create more flexible part-time jobs for female workers seeking to juggle work and home life.
Also high up on the government's priority list will be debt reduction for state-run companies and public organizations and so-called economic democratization, calling for a more equitable distribution of wealth and the reining-in of family-controlled conglomerates that now dominate the industrial landscape.

"Next year will be the first year when a drastic reform will be carried out in the public sector. We will also advnace our economic structure one step forward by institutionalizing systems needed to democratize the economy."

If things pan out as the government plans, the domestic economy will grow 3.9 percent next year, higher than the International Monetary Fund's forecast of 3.6 percent.
A rise in domestic demand, however, is expected to narrow the nation's current account surplus to 49 billion U.S. dollars next year from 70 billion this year.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.

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