South Korea will step up efforts to bolster its economy as it seeks to contain the economic fallout from the spread of a new coronavirus, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Monday.
Hong said the government will come up with additional measures in coming weeks to help local firms cushion the economic impact of the virus.
Such measures will include policy tools to boost local tourism, exports and private consumption, Hong told a meeting with senior ministry officials.
South Korea's tourism sector is expected to take a harder hit from the virus, as a large proportion of visitors come from China.
South Korea has placed restrictions on foreigners coming from some places in China as it tries to stem the spread of the illness here.
The nation's manufacturers, including Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, have been affected by a shortage of auto parts from China.
South Korea had 27 confirmed cases of the virus as of Monday.
The government will unveil support measures for exports and private consumption this month or next month, Hong said.
Last week, the finance ministry said it will provide 2 trillion won (US$1.7 billion) in financial support to small merchants who are expected to be hurt by the spread of the virus.
It is difficult to gauge how broadly the virus will spread, but the little-known disease is expected to negatively affect the South Korean economy.
Hong has said the virus will exert a downside risk on the Korean economy unless it is swiftly brought under control.
South Korea's economy grew 2 percent last year, the slowest growth in a decade. The Bank of Korea expects the nation's economy to grow 2.3 percent this year.