SEOUL/SEJONG, Dec. 30 (Korea Bizwire) - Corporate restructuring efforts aimed at bolstering South Korea’s overall competitiveness should entail pain sharing by all interested parties, the top economic policymaker said Wednesday.
Chairing his last meeting of economy-related ministers in Seoul, Choi Kyung-hwan said all restructuring efforts must be resolved in a speedy manner for the best possible effect.
“The government wants to push forward change, and it will insist on pain sharing by management, as well as workers,” said the official, who doubles as deputy prime minister of economic affairs.
Choi, who is also a three-term lawmaker in the ruling Saenuri Party, then stressed there is no reason for the economic vitalization plan to be held up in parliament at this critical juncture.
“I will do my utmost to get restructuring-related bills passed through the National Assembly before I leave,” the minister said.
Earlier this month, former infrastructure and transportation minister Yoo Il-ho was tapped to replace Choi, who will run for re-election in April.
The government plan calls for making it easing to carry out broad restructuring even before companies in such areas as steel, shipbuilding and logistics have to declare bankruptcy and apply for court protection.
Policymakers have insisted that managing risks is critical to stave off more serious problems down the line.
These sectors have been hit hard by weakening of international competitiveness; a slowdown in growth in China, South Korea’s largest trading partner; and fallout from the U.S. rate hike.
The policymaker then said due to mounting external uncertainties and structural weaknesses facing the country, Asia fourth-largest economy must never let down its guard.’