Moon stresses economy's strength amid gloomy IMF outlook
SEOUL - Responding to IMF forecasts that global economic growth this year will be the lowest since the 2008-09 world financial crisis, South Korea's President, Moon Jae-in, has emphasised building "a country where everyone is prosperous" and "an absolutely unshakable economy" in a speech to the National Assemblyon the Government's budget for 2020.
He said: "The IMF has advised each country to boldly expand its fiscal expenditures to overcome the world's economic downturn.
"The IMF has singled out Germany, Netherlands and our nation as countries with fiscal space that can respond to the economic situation by expanding their finances."
Moon also noted that Korea was 13th of 141 countries in the World Economic Forum's ranking of national competitiveness.
"For two years in a row, Korea has ranked atop the categories of macroeconomic stability and information and communications technology," he said.
He also cited international credit ratings agencies such as Moody's, S&P and Fitch giving Korea a sovereign credit rating of "Aa2," higher than the "A2" of Japan and "A1" of China.
"Our economic steadiness has been evaluated more favourably on the world stage than domestically," he said.
"Tax revisions and the 2020 budget are designed to meet the Government's four goals of innovation for additional economic stimulation, tolerance for making a warmer community, impartiality for building a fair country and peace to ensure a brighter future."
The President said next year's national budget was set at KRW 513.5 trillion, up 9.3% from this year, with overall revenue at KRW 482 trillion, up 1.2%.