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Finance minister urges global ratings agencies to reflect inter-Korean developments

2018/10/14 13:26

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SEJONG, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top economic policymaker called on global ratings agencies to reflect the latest developments in inter-Korean relations when evaluating Seoul's credit standing, the finance ministry here said Sunday.

It said Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon, who is in Bali, Indonesia, to take part in the Group of 20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meetings, met with representatives from Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's (S&P) on Friday and Saturday.

At the talks, Kim stressed that a spirit of peace is spreading on the Korean Peninsula and that the process of denuclearization is under way.

The minister said that improved cross-border economic cooperation programs that are in the works will create an environment that can bolster Seoul's growth potential going forward.

"Kim asked both Fitch and S&P to take such positive conditions into consideration when they make assessments about South Korea," the finance ministry said.

Besides the North Korea issue, the minister stressed South Korea's strong exports and domestic consumption, and emphasized efforts are under way to cope with the sluggish job market and business investment figures.

He added that the government is committed to accelerating innovative growth strategies.

The policymaker said that since Seoul's fiscal sustainability situation is much better than those of other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries, it has greater room to actively use state finances to tackle various challenges. The government, however, plans to maintain fiscal sustainability in the medium to long term.

Related to the talks, the ministry said Fitch and S&P officials expressed better appreciation of the latest developments surrounding South Korea following the talks with Kim.

Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon (L) shakes hands with Stephen Schwartz, head of Asia Pacific sovereign ratings in Bali, Indonesia, on Oct. 12, 2018. (Yonhap) Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon (L) shakes hands with Stephen Schwartz, head of Asia Pacific sovereign ratings in Bali, Indonesia, on Oct. 12, 2018. (Yonhap)

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