President Park Geun-hye took a move toward the full-scale economic revitalization when she presided over the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) meeting on May 29, for the first time since her inauguration.
The NEAC is a constitutional advisory body for President, and the only national economy-related advisory council. It was established to diagnose the current economic situation and come up with detailed policy alternatives to overcome the economic problems.
It will actually drive the so-called “Geunhyenomics” by seeking specific methodology to realize the new administration’s key policy slogans such as economic democracy and creative economy.
In regards to the economic situation in and out of the nation, President Park understands the nation has already been on a low-growth path and emphasizes the economic revitalization through creative economy as a policy direction.
President Park selected 30 experts from various fields as the members of the NEAC prior to the meeting on Wednesday. President Park is the chairperson of the NEAC, of course.There are five standing members of the NEAC; the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Science, ICT & Future Planning, the presidential chief of staff, the presidential chief secretary for economic affairs, and the presidential chief secretary for future strategies.
Among the 30 experts from the private sector is Hyun Jeong-taek, a professor of the department of international trade and regional studies at Inha University, who has now been appointed as the vice chairman of the NEAC. Most of the others are from President Park’s former think tanks such as the Institute for the Future of State (IFS) and the presidential transition committee.
The previous administration had similar kinds of advisory bodies such as the“Presidential Council on National Competitiveness” and the “Presidential Council for Future & Vision,” all of which have been combined into the NEAC now. Under the NEAC, there are four departments dealing with creative economy, economic welfare, fair economy and macro finance.
The NEAC is not a council for meetings. It diagnoses and analyzes the economic situations from an objective point of view, provides the base for the government’s policy making process, suggests supplementary measures or remedies if needs arise, and functions as a bridge between the public and the government through the on-the-spot collection of public opinion.
The NEAC has a meeting every quarter and its four departments report their job on a monthly basis.The NEAC’s activities are focused on assessing the government’s major policies for economic recovery, stable economic welfare and the like; unearthing the future agenda to respond the changing trends at home and abroad; detecting obstacles to creative economy and helping the related government offices cooperate with each other; and promoting timely and accurate delivery of information on the policies to the public and market.
President Park demanded at the NEAC meeting that various economic players make double efforts to speed up the advancement of the national economy which she believes is already on a low-growth path.
“Korea is getting older at the fastest pace among the OECD member countries, and has an extraordinary sort of country risks called the 'North Korea risks.’The country is now witnessing the continuous pattern of low growth and the rapidly-falling growth potential,” said President Park. She also emphasized the nation needs a fundamental change in its economic paradigm from the chaser-style economy to the leader-style creative economy in order to achieve the new administration’s major policy tasks such as the “Employment at 70%” and the “Middle Class at 70%.”She added, “We need drastic actions against the conventional approaches and practices to succeed in jumpstarting the national economy once again. If our way of thinking still stays in the past when the time has changed and the previously-devised measures have turned out problematic, we will never meet the demands of the times.”