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Korean Gov’t to Pursue Mass Deregulation
Korean Gov’t to Pursue Mass Deregulation
  • By matthew
  • February 17, 2014, 06:26
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SEJONG, Feb. 16 (Yonhap) – The South Korean government is set to announce a new three-year economic innovation plan that will include a negative list system for deregulation to help encourage investment, officials said Sunday.

The plan, expected to be announced later this month, will see that regulations are not applied to areas not named on the list.

The government will also introduce a limit on the total number of regulations, where the amount of government spending and economic impact from new regulations must be offset through the same level of deregulation, according to officials from the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

The scope of deregulation will be expanded in five industrial sectors – medicine, education, tourism, finance, and software – that are considered the most promising sectors for the country.

Small and medium-sized media content developers will receive tailored financial assistance from the government so that they can be fostered into a high-value industry, officials said.

The government will also prioritize the normalization of debt-ridden public institutions and the elimination of corruption, they said.

The government is also considering including national reunification in the three-year plan as a contingency, officials said, but it would be limited to preparatory steps drawn up by the private sector.

“The three-year plan has not yet been finalized. The government will likely finalize the plan before the end of the month,” a ministry official said.

President Park Geun-hye said during her New Year’s press conference last month that her administration will chart the three-year plan to meet the so-called “4-7-4 goal” – 4 percent economic growth, a 70 percent employment rate, and US$40,000 per capita income. She has since emphasized deregulation as a key means to attracting foreign investment.

Officials said that the government seeks to increase flexibility in the labor market by changing the wage system to reflect the type of work and performance evaluations, and strengthen social safety net for the self-employed, part-time workers and low-income earners.

Underground economic activities will be regularized, taxation strictly enforced, and unfair business practices against smaller companies eliminated, they said.