Daunting Tasks Ahead for New Finance Minister

Anchor: Concerns are rising over a possible vacuum in governmental leadership as the Choi Soon-sil scandal grows.

Our Kim In-kyung reports on the tasks ahead for finance minister nominee Yim Jong-yong amid the drawn-out slump in the economy.

Report: It has already been a few years since warning lights began flashing over the South Korean economy.

Production, consumption and investment are all down while exports, which had previously propelled the economy, have been depressed for almost two years.

Analysts say that the top priority for the new finance minister should be to propose a clear policy path to gain the trust of the market.

After he was named on Wednesday, finance minister nominee Yim Jong-yong said he feels a heavy responsibility for the grave economic situation.

[Sound bite: Finance minister nominee Yim Jong-yong (Korean)]

"I will recognize the internal and external situation as an economic crisis and put every effort into responding preemptively and stabilizing the livelihoods of the people. I believe an expansionary macroeconomic policy is necessary for now. The economy has failed to escape stagnation for a very long time."

Shin Min-young, head of economic research at the LG Economic Research Institute, said managing household debt, which has skyrocketed to almost one-point-three quadrillion won, and corporate restructuring should also be at the top of the new finance minister's priorities.

[Sound bite: Shin Min-young - head of economic research, LG Economic Research Institute (Korean)]

"The most important thing would be to act as a control tower for the economy. (The new finance minister) should give confidence that the economy won't waver despite the political confusion."

Yim, currently chairman of the Financial Services Commission, said he will try to keep the continuity of economic policy and regain public trust.

Kim In-kyung, KBS World Radio News.

Source: KBS World Radio