South Korean President Lee Myung-bak vowed that his administration will focus on reviving domestic demand this year in a bid to spur the sagging economy, the Korea Times reported on Saturday.
At an live-broadcast discussion TV program Friday night, Lee said the global economic downturn was expected to continue this year, forcing firms to reduce exports and creating additional downside risks for South Korea, which is heavily dependent on trade for economic growth.
"We believe policies expanding fiscal expenditure, maintaining low interest rates and taking preemptive economic measures will spur domestic demand," he said.
Lee said the global financial turmoil, which started just before his inauguration last February, had battered the Korean economy, pledging that his government's "green growth" policy of developing clean energy sources and low-carbon industries will help the country tide over the crisis.
During the discussion, which focused on two main themes economic revival and social integration, the president unveiled his position on a variety of issues, including inter-Korean ties, and the recent clash between police and protesters in Yongsan over a redevelopment project that left six people dead and diplomatic progress achieved since he took office in February last year.