IMF/WB Annual Meeting
Struggles to Cope with Financial Crisis

Korean Minister of Strategy and Finance said his gov't will focus on stabilizing the economy

The following are excerpts of an interview with Minister of Strategy and Finance Kang Man-soo and NewsWorld prior to his departure to Washington, D.C. to attend the 2008 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group.
Question: Will you tell us about the topics to be taken up during the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group (IMF/WB), which you will attend as chief of the delegation for the Korean government?
A: The annual meeting of the IMF/WB will deal with three major themes: taking stock of the global economy and financial markets and considering countermeasures against the current financial crisis; discussing such issues as governance of the IMF/WB; and discussing general guidelines on the operation of sovereign wealth funds.
The current session will serve as a good opportunity for 185 member countries to re-examine fast changing uncertainties in global financial markets and discuss ways to collaborate in setting policies. We will check the direction of policies designed to cope with the financial crisis by participating in conferences and meeting with experts while striving to make continued efforts to ease uncertainties in the markets by explaining our sound economic and financial situations and policies.
Our delegation will call for a quota reform in the WB in order to ensure our voice reflects the status of our economy. We will propose an expanded role of the IMF to address the global financial crisis. We will support the IMF's efforts to enhance the transparency of sovereign wealth funds in the global financial markets.
Q: Will you speak about the 2008 economic management plans, including economic growth and prices?
A: The Korean economy has such difficulties as low growth, high prices and low employment in the wake of worsening external conditions, including a slow down of the global economy and crude oil price hikes following a decade of boom. In particular, the spread of anxiety over the global financial markets, touched off by Lehman Brothers'filing for bankruptcy, has expanded volatility in the Korean financial markets. We are closely watching market developments to cope with uncertainties lest they should adversely affect the real economy.
In this regard, the Korean government plans to focus on stabilizing the Korean economy in the second half of this year. It will put more energy into stabilizing prices and people's lives while minimizing the impact on the domestic market, caused by uncertainties in the global markets. To this end, we will ensure the stable management of currencies and foreign exchange rates while stepping up efforts to make financial institutions sound. We also plan to provide selective support for low-income earners and ordinary folks who have been hit most by ever-worsening economic difficulties.
In addition, the government plans to make strenuous efforts to expand the growth potential of the Korean economy in the mid- and long-term perspectives. We will create an environment for helping the private sector expand investments though tax reductions and deregulation, while building up a foundation for long-term growth by expanding R&D activities and exploring new growth engine industries. At the same time, we will shore up institutional support for raising energy efficiency for low-carbon and green growth, fostering new and renewable energy industries and cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions. nw

Minister of Strategy and Finance Kang Man-soo

Copyright(c) 2003 Newsworld All rights reserved.
3Fl, 292-47, Shindang 6-dong, Chung-gu, Seoul, Korea 100-456
Tel : 82-2-2235-6114 / Fax : 82-2-2235-0799