Finance minister meets Fitch team, vows consistent policy to bolster fiscal soundness

Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said Tuesday the South Korean government will consistently implement measures to recover and bolster its fiscal soundness during a meeting with global credit appraiser Fitch Ratings.

Choo met with a team of Fitch officials, including Shelly Shetty, a managing director heading the Americas and Asia sovereign rating, who are visiting Seoul for annual coordination meetings, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

"(South Korea's) economic recovery trend is expected to further strengthen on the back of a rebound in exports led by chips and solid consumption backed by the strong job market," Choo said.

Choo also expressed gratitude to Fitch for its positive assessments of the government's efforts to pursue a restrictive budget.

The finance minister noted that South Korea needs to enhance its growth potential by reforming the labor, education and pension systems, rather than relying on short-term stimulus measures.

The finance ministry said Fitch agreed with Choo on the situation of the South Korean economy.

In March, Fitch Ratings reaffirmed South Korea's sovereign rating at "AA-" with a stable outlook, while projecting an economic growth of 1.2 percent for this year. The rating for South Korea has been AA-, the fourth-highest level on the agency's table, since September 2012.

In July, South Korea slashed its growth forecast for this year to 1.4 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from the previous outlook of 1.6 percent growth released in December.

Fitch plans to hold annual meetings with various South Korean organizations, including the Bank of Korea and the unification ministry, through Friday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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