SKorea announces 10.7 bln dlr stimulus package

SEOUL, November 3, 2008 (AFP) – South Korea Monday announced a 10.7 billion dollar plan to stimulate growth in the face of a global slowdown which is set to hit the crucial export sector. The government detailed plans to spend an extra 11 trillion won next year, plus tax cuts totalling three trillion, to boost sagging domestic demand.

“The ongoing global financial turmoil originated from the US subprime mortgage credit crunch is causing concern over a global economic downturn,” Minister of Strategy and Finance Kang Man-Soo told reporters.

“Financial market uncertainties have been aggravated and are exerting a knock-on impact on the real economy,” he said, stressing the need for the package to stimulate Asia’s fourth largest economy.

The government, under fire for weeks over its perceived weak leadership amid the global crisis, announced a wide-ranging plan to stabilise the shaky won and to boost the economy.

Of the 11 trillion won in extra public spending proposed for 2009, 4.l6 trillion won would be spent on social infrastructure such as schools, universities, hospitals and libraries.

Another 3.4 trillion would be used to help small and medium-sized firms