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Pres. Park`s economic innovation plan praised by economic experts
JANUARY 07, 2014 02:45  
At a New Year press conference Monday, President Park Geun-hye said the government will establish a three-year economic innovation plan, and stressed national affairs priority will be on economic invigoration. Economic experts responded positively to her proposal. Many said the president`s will to make a breakthrough in the Korean economy and her directions were very timely. However, there were also concerns that the plans lacked concrete action plans while some were skeptical on their feasibility.

Economic experts highly evaluated that President Park`s second-year national affairs plan focused on economic innovation. In her first year, the president picked economic democratization as prior task, but this year she has focused on deregulation and stimulation of domestic demand to increase national income and revive the economy. Experts also analyzed President Park`s plan to foster medical, education, tourism, financial services and software industries, which had been heavily regulated, as five promising service industries in order to invigorate growth and job creation through deregulation.

Oh Jeong-geun, economics professor at Korea University, said, "The three-year economic innovation plan, including reform of public institutions, fostering creative economy and stimulating domestic demand, are all related to regulation," adding, "(President Park) had the direction right as she presented regulation reform as a means to make breakthrough for the Korean economy."

Cho Dong-geun, economics professor at Myongji University, said, "The plan to raise Korea`s economic growth rate to potential growth rate of 4 percent is meaningful," adding, "Some criticize the three-year economic innovation plan is a logic of the past development era, but it is significant that a strong will to do whatever can be done has significant meaning."

However, others voiced concerns on the lack of concrete action plans. Issues of public sector reform and deregulation for domestic demand stimulus will accompany strong opposition by interested parties, and making visible performance in three years are not feasible, they said.

Park Jin, professor of international policy graduate school at Korea Development Institute, said, "The causes of public institutions` debt are related to state-owned projects, and a significant conflict will occur when reforms are promoted," adding, "The directions are right, but their implementing systems, and how it can be achieved need more deliberation." Shin Dong-yeop, business administration professor at Yonsei University, said, "A differentiated approach should have been added for future directions."

Some criticized the lack of remarks on the livelihood of low-income people. Choi Gong-pil, advisor at Korea Institute of Finance, said, "(President Park) talked about the era of people`s happiness, but many people are indebted in making a living. It could have been better if she touched more about low-income people."

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