Finance Minister Says US-China Conflict Can Damage S. Korean Economy

Write : 2019-05-20 11:10:17 Update : 2019-05-20 14:58:47

Finance Minister Says US-China Conflict Can Damage S. Korean Economy

Anchor: Amid an aggravated trade dispute between the U.S. and China, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki expressed concerns of a ripple effect hitting the Korean economy. Hong said the government will do all it can to ride out the hostile external conditions. 
Kim Bum-soo has more. 

Report: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said the worsening trade conflict between the U.S. and China may seriously damage the South Korean economy.

[Sound bite: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki (Korean)]
"As the U.S.-China trade conflict deepens, it is possible that its impact could be greater on our economy than previously [thought]. The government will do all it can to minimize the impact by preparing for all possibilities."

In an emergency meeting with economy-related ministers on Monday, Hong expressed concerns over the increasing volatility in the stock and foreign exchange markets. 

While noting that necessary stabilization measures will be put in place in case of extreme volatility, he said the government plans to offer 500 billion won in trade financing as short-term assistance for exporters. 

In the long term, Hong said South Korea will diversify its export markets, speeding up free trade talks with countries like the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The government will also seek to boost intermediate goods exports to emerging economies. 

The minister stressed that the supplementary budget should be approved at the National Assembly to minimize the fallout of the trade conflict, pointing out it includes budgets to bolster the competitiveness of exports.

Nearly 40 percent of South Korea's outbound shipments go to the U.S. and China, which have raised tariffs on each other amid their ongoing trade dispute.

In response to a U.S. tariff hike from ten to 25 percent on 200 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods, Beijing has announced that it will reciprocate the move by slapping tariffs of five to 25 percent on 60 billion dollars worth of U.S. products starting from June first. 

Regarding Washington's decision to delay whether to impose new tariffs on imported cars and parts for six months, Hong told reporters after the meeting that no country has been clearly excluded from the tariffs yet and that Seoul will do its best to be exempted. 
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

[Photo : YONHAP News]

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