I am pleased to meet you all. It is very reassuring to see many from the ruling party joining us today.
In April when we were in the throes of the COVID-19 crisis, I unveiled an initiative to implement the Korean New Deal as a national development strategy. The announcement reflected our strong determination to overcome the national crisis quickly and actually turn it into an opportunity to emerge as a leading nation. It was an extraordinary commitment to accelerate innovative growth by fostering the digital economy and non-face-to-face industries and to surmount the employment crisis by creating new jobs.
Since the initiative was disclosed, the Korean New Deal has continued to evolve. On the heels of the Digital New Deal for a great transformation to a digital society, the Green New Deal for a transition to a low-carbon economy has come into full swing. Declaring our goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 has fleshed out objectives for the Green New Deal, further widening the scope of the initiative and accelerating its implementation. Employment and social security safety nets for a people-centered, inclusive society have become the foundation of the Korean New Deal. The Regionally Balanced New Deal has established itself recently as its fundamental spirit. Through these, the Korean New Deal has grown into a more detailed national development strategy.
At the same time, the initiative is taking shape in the form of concrete projects, and allocated funds are fast making them more viable. The Korean New Deal’s 10 signature projects have been selected, and investment plans valued at 160 trillion won have been announced as well. The New Deal fund and financing have also paved the way for the people’s participation and more private sector involvement. Having raised the public’s expectations in a short span of time, the Korean New Deal has now moved beyond the envisioning phase to enter the full-fledged implementation stage.
At the center of the Korean New Deal’s evolution and progress is our ruling party. The Democratic Party’s Chairperson Lee Nak-yon and its leadership are at the forefront of switching the party completely into Korean New Deal implementation mode and making all-out efforts to spread the initiative to localities by visiting those targeted.
With the K-New Deal Committee and K-New Deal Headquarters playing pivotal roles, all lawmakers are sharing the responsibility in a bid to develop the Korean New Deal into a national development strategy that can be felt by the people.
Relevant standing committees of the National Assembly are also making efforts to give legal and budgetary backing. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the leadership of the ruling party and other lawmakers who remain fully devoted to making the Korean New Deal a success. Right now, we are standing at a truly crucial historic turning point on both a national and global level. Responding to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and climate change has become the overriding trend of the times. As the world undergoes an upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the pace of change has quickened further.
The digital and green revolutions constitute grand transformations in the history of human civilization and have become the tasks of the times that transcend ideologies, political parties and national borders as well. We can neither avoid them nor choose other options. The swift transition to a digitalized, low-carbon society and economy is the only strategy that takes us into the future. It is the only way to guarantee our survival and progress as well.
The Korean New Deal is a strategy that spearheads the Republic of Korea’s great transformation while keeping pace with global trends. This strategy will help turn the era of crisis into an era of opportunity by actively embracing and leading changes. This will transform our lives, local areas and our country, thereby paving the way for Korea to emerge as a pacesetter.
We will lead the transition to a digital economy by drawing on our globally unmatched digital capabilities, creating a benchmark for the world. With a view to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, we will also speed up the transition to a low-carbon economy and collaborate in solidarity with many other countries that are striving to respond to climate change. Throughout this process, we will seek a breakthrough for our economy and generate opportunities to create new jobs through industrial innovations and the green economy.
We will combine people-centered values with innovative technologies, thereby helping to make people’s lives more convenient and prosperous. We will establish safety nets and promote an inclusive transformation designed to resolve inequality in order to ensure that no person or region is marginalized. We will use the Korean New Deal as a new balanced national development strategy to alleviate the concentration around the Seoul metropolitan area so that local areas become footholds for new growth engines and play a pivotal role in boosting economic vitality.
The roles of the ruling party and the National Assembly are immense. The Korean New Deal should continue to evolve and develop going forward. I ask you to identify creative ideas from local and everyday scenes and establish broad areas where the people can participate as the protagonists of the Korean New Deal. The Government will actively support the ruling party’s efforts.
Preparing an institutional foundation is particularly important for steadfastly pushing ahead with the Korean New Deal. I urge you to swiftly devise the legal framework for the country to take the lead in digital innovation and expedite the Green New Deal. I also call on you to produce results in legislative efforts to strengthen safety nets and support New Deal financing and balanced regional growth. I would also like you to come together on regulatory reforms designed to eliminate barriers that may prevent us from pushing related projects and expanding New Deal initiatives to the private sector.
The Korean New Deal is the key to launching the future of the country. With pride in a Republic of Korea that is resilient to crises, we will embark on this bold challenge to emerge as a leading nation through the Korean New Deal. Let the ruling party and the Government work together as one in perfect harmony to spearhead this great leap forward for the Republic of Korea. Let us all pool our strength for the success of the Korean New Deal while assuming full responsibility for the people’s lives and the country’s destiny.