President Moon Jae-in on Monday called for an aggressive approach to the rising trend of trade protectionism during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chairing a weekly meeting with his senior aides, Moon cited disruptions to the global division of labor and changes to the global supply chain, calling them much bigger threats than Japan's export restrictions.
He noted that during the year since Japan abruptly imposed the trade curbs, South Korea transformed that crisis into an opportunity and adverse forecasts of the impact of those measures on the Korean economy did not come true.
The president said there was not a single case of production setbacks, while Korean industries managed to localize the production of industrial parts, materials and equipment.
Moon said the global supply chain crisis must also be turned into an opportunity and ordered the government to map out a detailed strategy and plan to advance Korea into a materials and parts powerhouse and a global factory in high-tech industries.
He also asked lawmakers to approve another stimulus budget proposal which is pending in parliament due to a partisan standoff over the appointment of Assembly committee chairs.