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Lee lays out economic pledges with USD50K in GDP per capita target

THE KOREA HERALD – The presidential nominee of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea vowed to grow the nation into the fifth-largest economy in the world while reaching a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of USD50,000 and seeing the main bourse Kospi hit 5,000 points during his term.

In a press event on Tuesday, Lee Jae-myung promised to focus on investing in advanced technologies and fostering key sectors to achieve sustainable growth with an emphasis on digital and eco-friendly transitions.

Lee said South Korea should be positioned as a world-class military and economic power with exemplary soft power capabilities that drives innovation and stays at the front in responding to difficult challenges like climate change and providing assistance to developing economies.

His vision entails greater involvement of the government in driving economic growth, in line with what the liberal bloc has argued for in responding to ongoing economic difficulties, which have been especially aggravated by the force of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lee vowed to have the government stay at the centre of long-term scientific growth with a focus on fostering key technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum technology and aerospace technologies. He pledged to create a deputy prime minister position tasked with scientific innovation.

And in response to a changing business climate, the presidential nominee envisions having his government lead infrastructural and policy efforts to help South Korea’s economy undergo a transition highlighted by digital growth and eco-friendly technologies. He vowed to create an “energy highway” to foster South Korea’s capabilities in renewable energy and related products.

Lee emphasised that growing the manufacturing sector is also important in aiding South Korea to reach USD50,000 in GDP per capita, adding it is also in the hands of small and medium-sized enterprises to be supported with budget-backed funds to fulfil digital and eco-friendly transitions at the same time.

The presidential nominee said he will prioritise aiding the growth of the service sector as well, as services must be “smarter” with unparalleled content to further develop its already evident potential. Locally created content can as a whole yield the same economic power as the semiconductor industry, he said.

Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party of Korea Lee Jae-myung announcing campaign promises on economic development during an event at the National Assembly in Yeouido, western Seoul. PHOTO: THE KOREA HERALD
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