Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Friday that the role of active fiscal policies and preemptive response measures are now more important than ever.
Speaking at a review meeting on regional government spending, the minister said downside risks to the South Korean economy were expanding amid lackluster investment and exports due to worsening conditions overseas.
He also cited increased uncertainties stemming from the U.S.-China trade conflict.
Hong, who also serves as deputy prime minister, urged local officials to quickly execute the budget in the remaining two weeks of this year's first half so that funds can reach local businesses in a timely fashion and help revive the economy.
The government earlier set a goal to execute a record 61 percent of the annual budget for key projects at state offices and public agencies in the first half of the year.