South Korea's chief economic policymaker said Tuesday that next year's budget spending will be focused on creating jobs, resolving income inequality and boosting innovative growth.
During an advisory meeting on fiscal policy, Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said Asia's fourth-largest economy is backed by a recovery in exports, though external uncertainties pose challenges.
"A flurry of measures will be in store to resolve youth unemployment," the minister said.
Early this week, the finance ministry said a total of 5 trillion won (US$4.4 billion) will be spent to nurture eight critical sectors, including autonomous driving and smart factories, with focus placed on blockchain, big data and artificial intelligence.
The earmarked budget for next year represents a sharp 65 percent increase from this year's estimate, according to the ministry.
Innovative growth is one of the key economic goals sought after by the Moon Jae-in government, along with income-led growth.
The ministry also said it plans to increase its spending for convenience facilities and social safety infrastructure as part of an ongoing effort to boost quality of life and the domestic economy, Kim said.
According to the ministry, over 7 trillion won will be spent next year to construct more electric vehicle charging stations, smart factories and community gyms. The figure is up 1 trillion won from the budget earmarked for this year.
South Korea's government ministries and agencies have requested a 6.8 percent hike in their budgets for next year as they want to spend more on welfare, education and defense, the finance ministry said earlier.
Ministries and state agencies have asked the government to set aside a combined 458.1 trillion won for next year, up 29.3 trillion won from this year's budget of 428.8 trillion won, according to the ministry.
The rate of increase is the biggest since 2012, when the comparable figure was 7.6 percent.
Based on the requests submitted, the finance ministry has held consultations with all interested parties. The ministry will then submit the proposal to the National Assembly for approval early next month. (Yonhap)