Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
“The entire international community must unite to make effective decisions on green, sustainable development”
The following article is based on materials provided by the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Seoul to The Korea Post media for publication. The Korea Post marks its 36th anniversary this year, owns and operates five media, 3 in English and 2 in the Korean language.--Ed. On May 30, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan, at the invitation of President Moon Jae-in of Korea, took part in the Second International Summit “Partnership for Green Growth and Global Goals 2030” (P4G), in Seoul, via videoconference. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan speaks at the Second International Summit “Partnership for Green Growth and Global Goals 2030” (P4G) in Seoul via videoconference. The agenda of the two-day forum included issues of overcoming the consequences of climate change, green recovery and ensuring carbon neutrality, as well as the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the implementation of the provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement. The event was attended by the heads of state and government, high-level representatives of the leading countries of the world, heads of authoritative international organizations.
Approaches of the Uzbek government to overcome barriers to socio-econoic development
The following are excerpts from an article by Abdunarzarova N. of the Republic of Uzbekistan which was contributed to The Korea Post media by the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Seoul. The Korea Post is 36 years old this year, and owns and operates 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications.--Ed.
Today, domestic and foreign experts agree that the large-scale structural reforms undertaken in the Republic of Uzbekistan have mitigated the negative socio-economic consequences of the global coronavirus pandemic. It has been noted that the government's decisive response allowed Uzbekistan to demonstrate positive economic growth of 1.6%.
Figure 1 shows that Uzbekistan experienced positive GDP growth rates during the pandemic compared to Central Asia and Russia as a whole. In addition, experts make an optimistic forecast that the results of the reforms will allow the republic to not only achieve a recovery of its economy in 2021 but also to achieve tangible economic growth of around 5%. At the same time, the republic has experienced higher inflation rates than the aforementioned countries, which may pose certain risks for future macroeconomic stability.
Daewoo E&C CEO Kim meets with Vietnamese Amb. to Korea Nguyen Vu Tung
Daewoo Engineering & Construction (Daewoo E&C) announced on May 31 that its CEO Kim Hyung met with Nguyen Vu Tung, the Vietnamese ambassador to Korea, on May 27 to discuss expanding investment development projects in Vietnam and strengthening business cooperation. At the meeting, CEO Kim thanked Vietnamese Amb. Nguyen for Daewoo E&C’s successful business in Vietnam with continued support from the Vietnamese government since its first entry into the market in 1992."We are planning to actively participate in investment development projects in Vietnam, including the Star Lake City project currently being carried out, as well as the PPP project (public-private partnership) in the future, so we ask for your continued interest and support from the Vietnamese Embassy in Korea," said CEO Kim. Meanwhile, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen said, "We are grateful that Daewoo E&C's entry into Vietnam has contributed to Vietnam's economic development. We will work hard to resolve the difficulties of Korean companies operating in Vietnam."
S. Korea's Exports Jump 45.6% in May, Largest Growth in 32 Years
South Korea's exports jumped over 45 percent last month from a year earlier, marking the largest growth for May. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Tuesday that outbound shipments came to 50-point-seven billion U.S. dollars last month, up 45-point-six percent on-year. On-year monthly growth in exports has been increasing for seven consecutive months since November. The ministry said that exports marked the highest for any May and the growth is the largest on-year gain in 32 years since August 1988. It's also the first time that exports grew by over 40 percent for two straight months. Average daily exports came to two-point-42 billion dollars in May, surpassing two-point-four billion dollars for the first time since 2018.
State Department: US Remains Committed to Diplomatic Engagement with N. Korea
The U.S. State Department said on Monday that the United States remains committed to diplomatic engagement with North Korea. The department issued the position after the North's official Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) carried an article criticizing the U.S. for lifting missile guidelines on South Korea at a summit between President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Joe Biden last month. A department spokesperson told Yonhap News that the U.S. is aware of the comments made in the North Korean media. The spokesperson said the U.S. policy toward Pyongyang calls for a calibrated, practical approach that is open to and will explore diplomacy to make practical progress that increases the security of the United States, its allies and its deployed forces.
S. Korea, Mercosur to Hold 6th Round of FTA Talks
South Korea will hold the sixth round of free trade talks with a group of South American countries, known as Mercosur, after a hiatus of 16 months amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, South Korea and Mercosur will hold virtual FTA talks for four days from Tuesday to set details on the pending trade agreement. The South American trade bloc comprises Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, accounting for 70 percent of the regional population. The two sides have held five rounds of official FTA talks since the start of negotiations in 2018. The previous meeting was held in Uruguay in February 2020." The planned talks will reportedly discuss commodity, trade remedies, place of origin, intellectual property rights and dispute settlement.
P4G Seoul Summit ends with shared commitment to inclusive green recovery for carbon neutrality
Global leaders adopted a joint statement on their commitment to efforts toward achieving carbon neutrality through "inclusive green recovery" from the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday as they wrapped up a two-day climate summit hosted by South Korea. The 2021 P4G Seoul Summit, held largely online, brought together more than 60 leaders and other top government officials and heads of international organizations. "We recognize the climate crisis as an urgent global threat whose impacts reach beyond the environment agenda to include economic, social, security and human rights-related challenges," they stated in the Seoul Declaration. They agreed to strengthen international cooperation to promote "energy transition by increasing the share of renewables" such as solar and wind energy. Among specific measures cited are phasing out existing coal-fired power plants and halting public financing for overseas construction of such plants and promoting the use of clean hydrogen, particularly in hard-to-abate sectors.
BTS megahit 'Dynamite' breaks 1.1 bln views on YouTube
The BTS megahit "Dynamite" has racked up 1.1 billion views on YouTube, becoming the band's third music video to reach the milestone. The seven-piece act's first English-language single hit the milestone at 3:46 a.m. on Tuesday, according to Big Hit Music. The feat comes roughly 10 months after the group released the upbeat disco-pop track on Aug. 21. The song earned BTS its first No. 1 debut on the Billboard's main singles chart as well as its first Grammy nomination. BTS now has three music videos with more than 1.1 billion views. Its most watched music video is "DNA" with 1.2 billion views, followed by "Boy With Luv."
BTS recently released its second English-language single "Butter," which has been breaking records it previously set with "Dynamite."
Export recovery extended to 7th month in May on rebounding global economy
South Korea's exports jumped 45.6 percent on-year in May to extend their gains to a seventh consecutive month due to strong demand for chips amid the global economic recovery, underscoring a rebound from the pandemic-caused slump, data showed Tuesday. Outbound shipments came to US$50.7 billion last month, compared with $34.8 billion a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Imports rose 37.9 percent to $47.8 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $2.93 billion. It marked the 13th consecutive month for the country to post a trade surplus. The May exports growth was slightly below the market estimate. According to a poll by Yonhap Infomax, the financial arm of Yonhap News Agency, the country's May exports were expected to have risen 47.5 percent on-year. By segment, exports of chips advanced a whopping 24.5 percent to $10 billion, extending gains to the 11th consecutive month. They rose above the $10 billion threshold for the first time since 2018.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Global leaders pledge inclusive green recovery at P4G summit
Foreign leaders and heads of international organizations on Monday pledged an inclusive green recovery for carbon neutrality and urged joint efforts to help developing countries join the initiative.
The unified message came as the P4G summit wrapped up its two-day run in Seoul. It was the first time South Korea had hosted a multilateral international meeting on the environment. “We reaffirm that the fight against COVID-19 leaves important lessons for the global response to the climate crisis and believe that the pandemic should be overcome through green recovery as a progressive strategy,” the Seoul Declaration stated. “The extent to which the green recovery is implemented may reshape our economy and society and also be a turning point in our journey to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.” The joint statement was adopted following the final Leaders’ Dialogue session chaired by President Moon Jae-in. Fourteen other world leaders joined the discussions online and shared their views on the green recovery, carbon neutrality and public-private partnerships.
Korea confirms first rare blood clot case linked to AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
South Korean health officials said Monday that a rare blood clotting condition associated with the COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson -- thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS -- was confirmed in a man in his early 30s. The Seoul man, a “worker in a sector prone to COVID-19 exposure,” received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine April 27, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Roughly 10 days later, he started experiencing a severe headache. He was hospitalized with a seizure on May 12 and was soon diagnosed with cerebral venous thrombosis, or clotting in the brain. He is currently recovering in the hospital. Based on the results of blood and imaging tests and his recent history of vaccination, the medics suspected TTS and reported the case to the agency. The agency reviewed the matter Sunday and confirmed the link to the vaccine. Jeong Eun-kyeong, the agency’s commissioner, said TTS was “treatable if detected early and given the appropriate treatment.”
The agency advises people who experience suspected symptoms of TTS four to 28 days after an AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccination to seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms include severe headache, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, blurred vision, leg swelling, easy bruising and nausea.
New infections in 400s for 3rd day, virus curbs eased for vaccinated people
South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases remained in the 400s for the third consecutive day Tuesday, while health authorities are easing distancing rules for vaccinated people to speed up the inoculation drive.
The country reported 459 more COVID-19 cases, including 449 local infections, raising the total caseload to 140,799, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said. It is the first time that the daily caseload has stayed around 400 for three days in a row since late March, just before the fourth wave of the pandemic hit the nation. There were four additional deaths, raising the total to 1,963. New cases popped up in various settings, including care facilities, workplaces, churches and bars, and the number of untraceable cases remained high, posing challenges to the country's virus fight. The average daily number of new cases stood at 554 over the past week, still above the standard for the Level 2.5 distancing, the fourth-highest in the five-tier scheme, Health authorities said they are closely monitoring the recent drop in new cases to see whether it was attributable to fewer tests over the weekend or early signs of letup in virus transmissions.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Washington-Beijing row, THAAD retaliation make Korean firms hesitant to invest in China
Korean companies appear to be reluctant to expand their investments in China, although the latter's economy reported a record 18.3 percent surge in the first quarter year-on-year and is beckoning them to join in infrastructure development. Experts said Monday the firms are concerned about the U.S.-China row ― notably the Washington-led move to untangle Beijing from global supply chains ― that may hurt their businesses if they invest in China They note that many companies here are wary of China's economic retaliation ― which they see as "ongoing" ― referring to the actions taken in response to the deployment of a U.S. THAAD missile defense system here in 2017. Meanwhile, the governments of Korea and China have declared the THAAD dispute has been settled. "The U.S.-China tensions in politics and economics are expected to carry on for the long term and it is logical to say these make firms have second thoughts about investing in China," said Jun Bo-hee, a senior researcher at the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) Emerging Markets Research Department.
China population: Three-child policy shows Beijing's desperation to boost births
China announced on Monday it would allow every couple to have three children after its two-child policy failed to boost the country's flagging fertility rate over the past five years. Last year, it dropped to its lowest level since the Great Famine in early 1960s. But the new measure will have limited effect because the cause of falling births in China has little to do with the restrictions. The problem with China's falling fertility rate - the average number of children per woman - is due to social and economic factors. As in other parts of the world, the willingness of women to have kids declines as education and income improves. China's fertility rate has dropped steeply over the past several decades thanks to its controversial one child policy, which was enforced through hefty fines, social pressure and forced abortions and sterilization. But the birth restrictions are only one factor. It is futile to think an expanded birth quota will dramatically increase the number of children Chinese women are willing to have.
Tourism sector joins efforts to go carbon neutral
The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) will launch a tour program aimed at eliminating carbon emissions, in cooperation with Tongyeong City in South Gyeongsang Province, in a bid to join worldwide efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to resolve the climate change crisis. The "Carbon-free Trip" is a trial tour program that will take place twice, on June 18 and 25, on Yeondae Island in Tongyeong City. The KTO has begun recruiting participants for the program, with the goal of recruiting 20 teams ― with each team being comprised of two to four people. It is a two-day trip that will take place at an eco-friendly park on the island, where solar energy generation facilities were established in 2011. Each team will camp out at the park, complying with the government's social distancing guidelines aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19. During their stay, the participants will be asked not to use fossil fuels or disposable products, as well as not to dispose of non-recyclable waste, in the aim of traveling without producing carbon emissions.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Small Businesses Desperate to Hire Foreign Workers
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the influx of foreign workers to a halt, resulting in an acute shortage of staff in small businesses in Korea. In the first quarter of this year, small and mid-sized companies told the Korea Federation of SMEs that they need 11,000 foreign workers, but only 4,500 have been matched with employers. According to the Justice Ministry, only 3,518 work visas were issued in the first four months of this year, a mere 10 percent of the same period last year. A staffer at the federation said, "At present, 86.9 percent of SMEs in Korea are either suffering from production problems due to a staff shortage or are about to encounter one." Some small employers are offering substantial salary hikes and better accommodation, but not all have the cash, and those who cannot keep up are losing their foreign workers to competitors.
Kim Hyo-sup (56), who runs a paper mill in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, said, "Many of the foreign workers in my company are quitting to move to higher-paying jobs." They also increasingly shun dangerous or onerous jobs.
Gathering Ban Lifted for Vaccinated People
The ban on gatherings of five or more people is being lifted Tuesday for all Koreans who have been vaccinated against coronavirus. People who had their first or second injection are exempt from the gathering ban 14 days afterward. At the moment, only people over 65 and some other priority groups are being vaccinated, but in the long run the easing of lockdown offers hope to the wider population as Korea's vaccination efforts gather pace. In a bid to encourage people to get vaccinated and overcome their fear of side effects, those who have had their first shot can also visit national forests and some public museums for free and get some discounts in other public facilities. But even vaccinated people must wear masks outdoors until July.
The daily tally of new coronavirus infections stood at 459 as of Tuesday morning, below 500 for three days in a row.
Half of Young Koreans Don't Want to Marry
More than half of Koreans in their 20s do not want to get married or have children, a poll suggests. The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family interviewed 10,997 households last September and found that 53 percent of respondents in their 20s do not want to marry, while 54 percent support divorce and remarriage and 52 percent do not want children. Singles accounted for a whopping 30.4 percent of total households, up from 21.3 percent as recently as 2015. The proportion of married couples without children rose from 15.9 percent to 22.1 percent over the same period.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
S. Korea to vaccinate 1 million reservists, members of civil defense with vaccines US provided
The COVID-19 vaccines that the US pledged to supply to South Korean troops at a recent South Korea-US summit are to be the single-dose vaccine produced by Janssen. The vaccines will be enough for one million people or roughly twice the 550,000 that was initially announced. The South Korean government plans to administer them to reservists, civil defense forces, and military-related workers aged 30 and over beginning on June 10. The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters (CDSCH) announced Sunday that based on working-level discussions, the amount that the US agreed to provide to the South Korean military on May 21 was finalized at 1,012,800 doses of the Janssen vaccine. The vaccines are to be supplied on a first-come, first-served reservation basis to 538,000 reservists, 3.04 million civil defense troops, and 137,000 other individuals involved in national defense and foreign affairs who are born before Jan. 1, 1992.
Moon announces plans to support developing economies in need of green recovery
South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced plans Sunday to substantially increase official development assistance (ODA) related to climate and the environment to help developing countries that need a green recovery. He also announced plans for a bid for South Korea to host the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP) for the UN Climate Change Framework Convention in 2023 while reaffirming his commitment to additional increases in South Korea's national greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030. Moon's announcement came in an opening address for the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit, delivered by videoconference at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul. He went on to say that South Korea would participate preemptively and proactively in international efforts to overcome the climate crisis. In particular, he stressed that it would fulfill its responsibility and role as a "bridge" between developing and advanced economies, adding that he planned to establish a US$5 million Green New Deal trust fund with the Global Green Growth Institute.
Moon’s approval rating recovers to 42%
South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s approval rating has bounced back above 40%. This is the first time Moon has registered a rating over 40% in seven weeks since the first week of April. A National Barometer Survey (NBS) was carried out from Monday to Wednesday with 1,008 adult South Koreans nationwide by Embrain Public, Kstat Research, Korea Research International and Hankook Research. The survey had a 95% confidence level with a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points. The results showed 42% of respondents assigning a positive rating for Moon’s governance performance, a rise of six percentage points from the week before. Negative ratings were given by 51% of respondents, down by three percentage points from the week before. The four organizations that carried out the survey cited the recent South Korea-US summit as a factor in the approval rating turnaround. Fifty-five percent of respondents expressed a positive view of the outcome of Moon’s visit to the US last week, far outnumbering the 34% who rated it negatively. But while 27% of respondents predicted “positive changes” in North Korea-US relations going forward, a much higher 68% predicted there would be “no major changes.”
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Ruling party to revise fiscal rules to provide pandemic support to all people
It was reported that the ruling party, which is trying to pass the second revised supplementary budget bill to provide pandemic support to all South Koreans again, is considering a measure to partially revise South Korea’s fiscal rules. While the Ministry of Economy and Finance announced in October that the fiscal rules of setting the national debt-to-GDP ratio at 60 percent will be applied from 2025, the debt-to-GDP ratio can go up faster than expected. “Given the second supplementary budget and the compensation for loss act in discussion at the National Assembly, it might be difficult to keep the debt-to-GEP ratio below 60 percent by 2025,” said a source familiar with the ruling party on Monday. “Measures to make detailed exceptional clauses and such are mentioned in the course of discussions on the legislation of fiscal rules.” According to the fiscal rules, the government should reduce its spending significantly if the ratio exceeds 60 percent. According to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, South Korea’s debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to reach 59.7 percent in 2024 as a result of the first supplementary budget to provide the fourth round of pandemic support in March this year. Once the second supplementary budget is compiled, the ratio is likely to exceed the threshold of 60 percent before 2025.
"Housing prices, its debt, and aging populations are causing S. Korea's instability"
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria from Mexico will resign on June 1 after having led the organization since 2006. At the video press conference on Friday hosted by the French government, the longest-serving OECD secretary-general talked about how he has seen South Korea in the last 15 years. He will be succeeded by Mathias Cormann, a former Australian finance minister. Gurria said South Korea that he experienced as an OECD secretary-general symbolizes one of the most dramatically changed countries. “South Korea’s development in technology like in semiconductors, IT, and artificial intelligence are impressive,” said the secretary-general. “I used to tell several governments that I am proud of South Korea’s success and its secret should be shared with others.”
Danish secret service helped US spy on German chancellor
According to Danish public service broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR), between 2012 and 2014, the Defense Intelligence Service (FE) collaborated with the US National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on high-ranking European politicians including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Back then, Joe Biden was serving as vice president of the United States under the Obama administration. The DR and German media outlets reported that the NSA and the FE kept tabs on the top-level politicians in major European economies including Germany, France, Norway, and Sweden, under a project called “Operation Dunhammer.” Along with Angela Merkel, the NSA eavesdropped on Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the then-German foreign minister, and Peer Steinbrück, the opposition leader at the time, through the local Internet cable network in Denmark and the Danish espionage system called “Crown Jewel.” The NSA collected “everything they could collect through smartphones” such as their call history, texts, and the conversations from messaging apps.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
South Korea to Receive 1 Million Doses of the Janssen Vaccine Provided by the U.S.
One million doses (for one million people) of the Janssen vaccine given by the United States government will arrive in South Korea this week. This is nearly twice as many doses (550,000) initially promised at the bilateral summit, and the South Korean government plans to administer the vaccines to members of the reserve forces and civil defense aged 30 and older on a first-come, first-served basis.In a press briefing at the government office in Seoul on May 30, Jung Eun-kyeong, head of the COVID-19 vaccination response team (chief of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency) said, “The U.S. administration promised to give us 1,012,800 doses of the Janssen vaccine in close working-level discussions between the two governments following the bilateral summit.” She further said, “For swift inoculation, we will send our military aircraft to the U.S. in early June and bring the vaccines to our country.” Thanks to the Janssen vaccines from the U.S. administration, South Korea has now secured vaccines for a total of 100 million people. Disease control authorities decided to administer the Janssen vaccine to members of the reserve forces (538,000), civil defense (3 million), people related to national defense and foreign affairs (137,000) including civil servants in the defense and foreign ministries and military families. Authorities plan to receive reservations for the vaccines on a first-come, first-served basis for up to 1 million people. Those who fail to make the reservations will be vaccinated according to the vaccination plan for July-September.
People Who Receive the First Vaccine Shot Can Go Without Masks Outdoors Beginning July
Starting June, people who receive the first COVID-19 vaccine shot can see their families without any restrictions on gatherings of immediate family members (fourteen days after receiving the first shot). From July, they can enjoy outdoor activities without masks and without keeping a distance of two meters from other people. People who have received all two shots will have more freedom in attending various gatherings and using public facilities (fourteen days after receiving the second shot). On May 26, the government announced that it would grant such incentives to people who have been inoculated. It was a means to encourage people to get vaccinated in order to achieve the goal of administering the first vaccine shots to 13 million people in the first half of this year, but some experts voice concerns that the excessive incentives could actually be a risk factor in disease control. In a press briefing, Kwon Deok-chul, first assistant director of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters announced, “Based on the effects of vaccination, we will gradually adjust the disease prevention guidelines in order to provide incentives for vaccination and to restore our daily lives, which has suffered from COVID-19.”
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
U.S. offer of vaccines to Korea doubled to 1 million, helping to finish 1 jabs on 27% by H1
The United States has doubled the offer of Covid-19 vaccines to South Korea, helping to accelerate vaccine program to complete first shots for 1 million extra to 14 million people, or more than a quarter of the population, by the end of June, the government said. The U.S. shipment of 1,012,800 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines is arriving this week, said Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum at a central disaster management meeting on Sunday. The amount almost doubles the promise of 550,000 doses to cover South Korean servicemen during President Moon Jae-in’s state visit to the United States on May 21. “The arrival of more than expected vaccines from the U.S. can help to cover 1 million extra people, and we plan to finish administration of first shots on 14 million people by the first half,” said Song Young-rae, spokesman for the Central Disaster Management Headquarters in a briefing on Monday.
Seoul may mull second extra budget as tax revenue is expected exceed by $15 bn
South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party’s proposal for a second extra budget this year is gaining momentum as the government is forecast to collect $15 billion more than expected in tax revenue this year thanks to the hot asset market and stronger-than-expected economic rebound. According to multiple sources from the government and National Assembly on Sunday, the country’s tax revenue is projected to exceed 300 trillion won ($269.1 billion) this year, up 15 trillion won from last year’s 285.5 trillion won and 17 trillion won from the government’s revenue estimate of 282.7 trillion won. The government`s tax revenue estimate for this year had been conservative as the budget was drawn up during the peak of Covid-19 havoc in summer last year.
Seoul to extend tax breaks on car purchases till the year-end
The South Korean government is pushing back sunset date on sale tax cut incentive for new car purchases to year-end as not to spoil the fledgling sign of improvement in domestic consumption. Hong Nam-ki, finance minister and deputy prime minister for economy, at an emergency economic council meeting on Friday said the government will extend the temporary tax breaks for car purchases by another six months to the end of this year. The government temporarily has cut the tax on domestic car purchases from 5 percent to 3.5 percent, which has the effect of saving sale tax by 30 percent, to boost domestic demand. The program was due to expire on June 30. The government will also expand support in the job market, especially to bolster youth employment.
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