President Park lays out her ambitious 3-year economic innovation planUpdated: 2014-02-25 AM 11:54:56 (KST)
Today, February 25th, marks the first anniversary of President Park Geun-hye's inauguration.
In a televised address to the nation this morning,the president laid out the details of her previously introduced three-year economic innovation plan.
And to give us the details of what was included in her plan, we now connect live to our presidential correspondent Eoh Jin-joo at the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae.
So, Jin-joo what were some of the goals President Park outlined for the nation this morning?
President Park first vowed to raise the nation's potential economic growth rate to above 4 percent by the year 2017, through her economic reform plan.
She unveiled three key goals of this plan -- "an economy with strong fundamentals," "an innovative and dynamic economy" and lastly "an economy that balances domestic demand and exports."
The president said she will start by rooting out abnormal policies and wrong practices, especially in the public sector, that have been overlooked by previous administrations.
"Abnormal practices" include lax management, high debt levels and all sorts of corruption.
President Park pledged to reduce and cap the debt ratio of public institutions at 200 percent, which is the upper limit for private companies to issue corporate bonds.
The Korea Land and Housing Corporation, for example, which has debts of more than 128 billion U.S. dollars, had a debt ratio of over 400 percent, as of last year.
The president also laid out measures to protect employees and restore fairness in the economy.
She promised to reduce the income gap between permanent and temporary workers, and strengthen the restrictions against layoffs.
The president vowed to gradually expand unemployment insurance to cover owner-operators, artists and day-to-day workers.
So, Jin-joo, let's go over to her pledge for an "innovative and dynamic economy." Certainly, fostering a creative economy has been one of her flagship policy goals.
President Park's push for a so-called creative economy comes as an important part of her goal towards an innovative economy.
She pledged to invest a total of 3.7 billion dollars to create a better business environment for start-ups and venture firms over the next three years,
and increase investment in research and development to 5 percent of the country's GDP by the year 2017.
The Korean government also aims to expand its free trade agreements with other countries to cover 70 percent of the entire world market.
Currently, the FTAs Korea has with other nations cover about 55 percent of the world's GDP.
For a "balanced economy," President Park emphasized the importance of boosting domestic demand.
The president pointed to lowering the nation's mounting household debt and solving the skyrocketing prices of "jeonse," a lump-sum payment for a long-term housing rental.
She pledged to reduce the country's household debt ratio by 5 percentage points by 2017, by handing out tax benefits and introducing fixed interest rates and level debt services for mortgage loans.
Another important key to boosting domestic demand, according to President Park, is job creation.
Now, her plan includes creating 500 thousand jobs for young people and 1.5 million jobs for women.
The president also unveiled plans to prepare for an era of a unified Korea?
Yes, the Park administration will set up a presidential "reunification preparation committee" to work towards a "systematic and constructive" reunification.
This committee will be in charge of preparing for a reunification on the Korean peninsula and expanding inter-Korean exchanges and dialogue.
Experts and civic groups in various sectors of foreign affairs, security, the economy and culture will be joining the committee to come up with a specific blueprint for a unified Korea.
Now, following the address, President Park has presided over an economy ministers' meeting to discuss specific aspects of her three-year plan.
Okay, Jin-joo, thank you for that report.
That was our presidential correspondent Eoh Jin-joo reporting live on President Park's three-year economic innovation plan that she laid out this Tuesday morning.
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