Moon cel­e­brates $30,000 in per capita in­come

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By Kim Bo-eun [email protected]­re­

South Korea has achieved the coun­try’s long-held goal of sur­pass­ing an­nual per capita in­come of $30,000, Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in said Fri­day.

“As the sev­enth coun­try in the world, South Korea has joined the 30-50 club, which refers to an eco­nomic power with $30,000 per capita in­come and a pop­u­la­tion of 50 mil­lion,” Moon said at the event held at COEX in south­ern Seoul, cit­ing a fore­cast by the In­ter­na­tional Mone- tary Fund (IMF). It ex­pects the coun­try to reach $32,000 an­nual per capita in­come this year. The $30,000 level is widely re­garded as mark­ing the as­cen­sion to a de­vel­oped econ­omy.

Moon said Asia’s fourth-largest econ­omy is fore­cast to reach $600 bil­lion in to­tal ex­ports by the end of the year, for the first time ever. He also said the coun­try reached $1 tril­lion won in trade vol­ume in the short­est pe­riod of time and cited fore­casts that by the end of the year, this will ex­ceed $1.1 tril­lion, the largest fig­ure yet.

At the event, the Pres­i­dent said the gov­ern­ment will seek to reach a deal on the Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship (RCEP) by next year.

The RCEP is a mul­ti­lat­eral frame­work for free trade among 16 coun­tries in­clud­ing 10 ASEAN states plus South Korea, China, Japan, Aus­tralia, In­dia and New Zealand. This will ex­pand free trade with coun­tries whose pop­u­la­tion ac­counts for half of the world and GDP ac­counts for a third, he said.

Moon ad­mit­ted that the gov­ern­ment was un­able to ad­dress ris­ing un­em­ploy­ment is­sues and added the coun­try is fac­ing other prob­lems in­clud­ing tougher cir­cum­stances for the self-em­ployed, and busi­nesses strug­gling due to the raised min­i­mum wage.

He said mea­sures and a bud­get have been drawn up to deal with these prob­lems.

At the same time, he asked for la­bor and man­age­ment, and the pri­vate sec­tor and gov­ern­ment to make con­ces­sions and co­op­er­ate.

“It is dif­fi­cult to en­able in­clu­sive growth only through gov­ern­ment ef­forts. Work­ers, busi­nesses and the gov­ern­ment must work to­gether,” he said.

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