Korea seeking to boost domestic demand as new driver of economic growthUpdated: 2014-03-18 12:01:35 (KST)
Booming exports were once the golden ticket for the Korean economy.
But in recent years there has been rising speculation that the country's export-driven economy may have reached the limits of its ability to induce steady growth.
Data from the Bank of Korea shows the number of employed has gradually decreased, despite a surge in exports.
For every increase in exports worth one-billion Korean won, or 933-thousand U.S. dollars in 2011, less than six people found new jobs.
That's a sharp reduction from 1995, when more than 20 people found new jobs for every increase in exports of the same amount.
Now, the Park Geun-hye administration is looking within the country to find new growth engines for the economy.
The first step is to radically streamline the red tape hampering business, particularly in the service sector, which is loaded with restrictive regulations.
There are more than 36-hundred regulations in the service sector, which represents around 47-percent of all business regulations.
Related officials in the aesthetic surgery industry say heavy regulations are taking a toll on Korea's competitiveness in the field of aesthetic surgery.
"There's a growing demand for aesthetic surgery in Korea and from abroad. But investors are getting increasingly more reluctant to invest in R&D for related technologies due to the regulations."
Making Korea one of the world's most attractive medical tourism destinations is one of the government's initiatives aimed at improving the country's service sector.
The Park administration's goal is to increase the number of foreigners visiting Korea for medical purposes to 250-thousand this year, from 150-thousand in 2012.
To underscore the government's campaign to deregulate wherever possible, President Park is due to preside over a large-scale meeting of policymakers, consultants and businesspeople on Thursday, where they will draw up a to-do list.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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