World Economy

South Korea Rolls Out Policies for Inclusive Growth

South Korean government has set 2018 growth forecast at 3%.South Korean government has set 2018 growth forecast at 3%.

The South Korean government expects to reach per capita income of $30,000 next year by boosting employment figures, fair distribution and welfare policies.

On Wednesday, Seoul revealed a comprehensive fiscal policy roadmap for next year, based on President Moon Jae-in administration’s drive to spur income-driven economic growth, UPI reported.

The first priority is job creation. The government plans to provide 320,000 new positions by expanding public sector jobs, improving employment conditions for youth as well as women who take maternity leave in small-and-medium businesses.

To promote stable livelihoods, the minimum wage will be raised by the highest rate in 17 years to $7 an hour. The government will also aim to narrow income gaps between men and women, large conglomerates and small and medium-sized enterprises as well as permanent employees and workers on non-permanent contracts.

The government will also roll out measures to provide more housing, schooling and welfare benefits for low-income families, Yonhap reported.

Moon said, “We’ll bring visible changes to your life. I am confident that we will continue our 3% growth next year and our per capita GDP will top $30,000. But, what’s even more important is that our new economic policies make visible accomplishments so that the people can feel their lives changing, getting better.”

The country’s per capita gross national income came to $27,561 in 2016 and grew roughly 7% by the end of September, according to the Bank of Korea. The central bank said this puts the $30,000 target well within reach this year as per capita income would have to grow 8.8% on-year to surpass the threshold. South Korea hit the $20,000 milestone in 2006, according to Hankyoreh.

Only 27 out of 190 countries enjoy a per capita GNI of $30,000, according to the International Monetary Fund. The government says securing the average citizen’s livelihood by expanding income and welfare benefits will boost private consumption next year by an estimated 2.8%.

With higher global demand for memory chips and IT products expected to push up export growth by 4%, the government predicts the country’s gross domestic product will increase by a steady 3% next year. This year’s GDP growth is projected to hit 3.2%.

It will be the first time in seven years that the South Korean economy grew by more than 3% for two consecutive years.

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