South Korea has not gained the momentum needed for early recovery despite the global economy showing signs of picking up pace, the head of a local business group said Thursday.
"The pace of domestic economic recovery is still slow, although things have picked up for the global market," Park Yong-man, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry, told a meeting with leaders of the country's four major political parties at the National Assembly in Seoul.
South Korea appears to be suffering from chronic low growth with the Bank of Korea forecasting economic expansion at 2.5 percent this year citing a high unemployment rate, surging household debts and China's economic sanctions over a missile row.
The US Federal Reserve has said it will continue rate hikes for the coming few years based on confidence in its economic recovery. Such a development can lead to an increase in South Korea's exports.
The OECD projected in November the US economy to grow 2.3 percent in 2017 from a year earlier, compared with a 2.6 percent forecast for South Korea.
"Our growth rate may plunge into a zero percentage point unless we change now, even though we are currently maintaining a two percent range growth rate," Park said.
The former head of Doosan Group called on the political leadership to serve as a catalyst for the change, saying "It is high time for us to recover the 'formula of hope' in which people can fairly reap the benefits of their labor."
He proposed the three major issues of fair competition, adherence to the market economy and an eye towards the future, as something presidential hopefuls and political parties should check when devising economic policies. (Yonhap)