Active investment in the Digital New Deal is necessary to tide over the current deepening economic crisis, a lawmaker said.
“As part of the Green New Deal projects, the government plans to spend 14 trillion won for activation of the construction sector. However, under the current serious economic crisis situation, it needs to make more investment in the Digital New Deal,” said Won Hee-ryong, a lawmaker of the governing Grand National Party.
In an interview with the Korea IT Times, Rep. Won, who was recently selected as the number one next-generation political leader by Sisa Journal, said: “The government needs to continuously make active investment in growth engines until the national economy gets back on the right track.”
He said that there are many problems in a country suffering from the deepening economic downturn, including those in housing, cost of living, child care, welfare for the aged, education and medical services.
“However, we can ride out the difficult economic crisis, improve the quality of people's lives and bolster the foundation of the national economy by making active investment in the IT and software sectors,” said the lawmaker.
In early January the government decided to implement a total of 34 economy-boosting schemes dubbed Green New Deal projects from this year through 2012, spending 50 trillion won to create 960,000 new jobs. It will invest 39 trillion won into nine large-scale development plans producing 690,000 jobs, while spending 11 trillion won to carry out 27 small-scale projects worth 270,000 jobs.
Of the 960,000 newly created jobs, about 100,000 are estimated to go to those between 15 and 29 years old, as many high school and university graduates are facing an increasing difficulty in finding work because of the tight labor market and worsening business conditions.
“Of the nine major development projects, 18 trillion won will be spent to strengthen the capability of the four main river systems across the country – the Han, Nakdong, Geum and Yeongsan – by building dams, reservoirs and other water management facilities through 2012,” he said.
When asked about the Low Carbon Green Growth National Forum that he established, Rep. Won said: “The green economy to be pushed for in the future means a change of paradigm in all sectors. However, most enterprises and people do not know how to prepare for an era of a low-carbon green economy. Accordingly, I established the forum to study the enactment of relevant laws and policies about a low-carbon green economy and expand a sense of sympathy among the people.”
Noting that there are many issues to be solved between South Korea and the United States, Rep. Won said: “This year, the two countries should settle such pending issues as the ratification of the Korea-US FTA and the post-2012 negotiation related to climate change. In particular, US President Barack Obama said Washington will invest $150 billion into climate change-related fields over the next 10 years to create several million jobs. Accordingly, we need to prepare an effective win-win strategy for both countries in this sector.”