Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance Choi Kyung-hwan said on Jan. 5 that he would come up with an investment promotion program worth 30 trillion won (US$27 billion) so that risks in the growth industries can be better mitigated, based on equity investment rather than loans, and more assistance can be provided for the real economy.
He participated in the New Year’s conference of financial institutions in Seoul on Jan. 5 and remarked that he would try to help the financial sector grow as a future-oriented, creativity-centered, and high-value-added service industry.
The investment promotion program he mentioned is for the government to invest 15 trillion won (US$13 billion), via the Korea Development Bank, in high-risk future growth industries and large-scale infrastructure establishment projects. The program will work by means of direct investment, and for the private sector to invest the same amount. It was emphasized as an important part of this year's economic policy.
“I will lower the barriers between the segments in the industry so that nimble players such as Internet banks and fintech companies can enter the market with greater ease, which I anticipate will foster innovation and change in the financial sector,” he said, adding, “At the same time, I will encourage companies to increase their dividend payout ratios by means of strengthened roles of the national pension fund and taxation plans, which will lead the government’s efforts for restructuring and economic revitalization to success.”
The ceremony was attended by more than 1,200 financial industry and government figures, including Bank of Korea Governor Lee Joo-yeol and Financial Services Commission Chairman Shin Je-yoon.