SEOUL, June 24 (Korea Bizwire) – The South Korean government said Friday it has revised down the annual economic growth outlook by 0.3 percentage point to 2.8 percent, in the face of sluggish global economic conditions and troubles facing certain industries.
During a meeting with the ruling Saenuri Party, government policymakers said growth is expected to slow in the second half of 2016. They, however, added that every effort will be made to revitalize growth so Asia’s fourth largest economy can pull off 3 percent growth next year.
At the gathering the Saenuri Party also called on the government to put priority on generating more jobs in the second half of 2016, amid rising concerns that ongoing corporate restructuring will lead to serious unemployment issues.
“South Korea lacks jobs for the youth while the job market is facing challenges,” said Chung Jin-suk, the party’s floor leader during the meeting with the finance ministry. “There also needs to be special policies centered on workers who may lose their jobs following the restructuring process.”
“Politicians and the government must make joint efforts to cope with the economic challenges,” Chung added, highlighting the importance of close coordination on this matter.
Nationwide corporate restructuring is underway in the troubled shipbuilding and shipping sectors, with industry watchers predicting shipyards will lay off thousands of workers and the closure of struggling subcontractors.
The country’s top three shipyards suffered a combined operating loss of 8.5 trillion won (US$7.4 billion) last year, due largely to a worldwide dearth in demand.
The party whip then said that there can be no ruling and opposition parties when it comes to stimulating the economy and stressed the economy must be viewed as the most critical political agenda at present.
The remarks come as rival parties have often failed to see eye-to-eye on many economic policy issues in the past, which has been cited for hurting recovery efforts.
Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho echoed the view, adding the government will continue efforts to create more jobs, while speeding up restructuring to bolster the competitiveness of industries and better cope with risks.