South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has recently announced that the government will be spending ₩160 trillion (approx. US$130b) to create 1.9 million jobs by 2025 as a part of its New Deal project aimed at transforming South Korea into a “pacesetting” country.

“The government promises an unprecedented scale of investment in the Korean version of the New Deal,” he said in a keynote speech at the Cheong Wa Dae event to make public some details of the project. “It will directly invest ₩114 trillion of state funds into the project by 2025,” he said, adding that the total investment will hit ₩160 trillion when spending by the private sector and local governments are included.

While current predictions state that 1.9 million jobs will be created by the year 2025 under this project, President Moon’s five-year term finishes in 2022; by which, his administration plans to spend ₩49 trillion to create approximately 890,000 jobs.

“I hope the Korean-version New Deal will be a new opportunity for those who need jobs,” Moon said.

Moon said that the investment is a declaration by the Republic of Korea of its intentions to become an economic pacesetter and a leader in the post-COVID-19 recovery period.

Part of the plan will involve efforts to move South Korea’s away from its reliance on fossil fuels and promote environmentally friendly industries powered by digital technologies, including electric and hydrogen cars, smart grids and telemedicine.

South Korea aimed to have approximately 1.13 million electric vehicles and 200,000 hydrogen cars on the roads by 2025, up from 91,000 and 5,000 respectively at the end of 2019, said Moon. In addition, the government would be expanding charging stations for said vehicles in the coming years as well.

The plan would promote remote medical services, a work-from-home policy for businesses, and online schools based on 5G wireless networks, and would include tax breaks for telecom providers installing the systems.

The government would also invest 24.3 trillion won to set up smart grids across the country to manage electricity use more efficiently.


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