South Korea's finance minister said Friday that he will put more efforts into intense corporate restructuring in all industries in a bid to revive the country's growth potential.
"It is important for companies to preemptively reorganize and restructure to prevent possible risks," Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said in a ministerial meeting in Seoul. "The government will push forward with corporate reorganization both in the manufacturing and service industries."
He said the government will help more than 40 companies carry out their voluntary corporate restructuring through fast-track legal and administrative procedures this year.
As part of the Seoul government's efforts to speed up corporate restructuring in shaky industries, including shipbuilding, steel and petrochemicals, 24 companies, including leading chemicals manufacturer Hanwha Chemical Corp. and LG Chem, the country's largest chemicals manufacturer, are subject to the so-called "one-shot" act.
The law was designed to help businesses conduct intra-corporate mergers and spin-offs through simplified procedures including exemptions from strict antitrust laws and financial market regulations. They will also be given tax benefits and subsidies for research and development on corporate restructuring.
Under the new law, the companies that want to benefit from the fast-track corporate restructuring procedures are required to win government approval.
They will be guided to reduce the supply glut and upgrade their production facilities as part of the government's plan to have the companies redesign and diversify their business portfolio.
Yoo said he will also come up with supplementary measures to look after workers who lose their jobs following strict downsizing efforts especially in the labor-intensive shipbuilding sector.
For escalating tension with China over a the joint Korean-US plan to deploy a high-tech missile defense system on the Korean Peninsula, the top economic policymaker said he will take appropriate action against any possible wrongdoings of the Beijing government.
China has taken a series of recent hostile actions against the Korean Wave and businesses in apparent retaliation for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense to be established on South Korean soil. On Thursday, Beijing told major travel agencies in the country to stop selling tours to Korea.
"We will handle it in an appropriate way if necessary," said Yoo. "We've kept explaining the necessity of THAAD to China. The foreign and trade ministries are seeking ways to deal with it. The government will do what it has to do." (Yonhap)