Throughout the entire year, the government exerted its all-out efforts pursuing reform in four sectors: public, labor, finance and education. The government apparently worked ardently as this year, the third year since President Park Geun-hye took office, was regarded as the appropriate time to wrap up key policy tasks.
Progress was made in revamping the public, financial and educational sectors. The first step toward realizing labor reform, a contentious matter, was also taken. However, the government will have to continue to handle such reform in the new year as the National Assembly failed to handle related bills.
In the public sector, the public employees’ pension system was overhauled and the wage peak system was fully adopted at all public organizations. In particular, reform of the civil servant pension system was regarded highly as previous governments had failed to achieve the task.
In terms of financial reform, attempts were made to implement performance-based systems and internet banks were introduced. The government awarded preliminary licenses to two consortiums to operate the nation's first internet-only banks on November 29. It’s hoped that the move will pressure current banks to undertake reform due to the increased competition.
In the education field, efforts are continuously being made to normalize public education and restructure colleges. Some progress was made but key related bills remain to be addressed in parliament.
Efforts on labor reform, meanwhile, hit a snag as key related bills failed to be handled during the National Assembly’s regular session.
In August, President Park Geun-hye underlined the importance of labor reform in a statement to the public. Nevertheless, the rival camps failed to narrow their differences on the matter.
The government’s four reform plans are aimed at resuscitating the economy in the short-run and providing a framework for growth in the long-run. Ultimately, the plans seek to fundamentally change the nation’s economic constitution and national system.