Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
“People come first” is my political slogan and longstanding philosophy. I am very pleased to see the G20 Summit adopting “Putting People First” as a core message.
The Republic of Korea achieved rapid growth that surprised the world, but it now shares the same concerns as the rest of the world. In the process of development, economic inequality and the socio-economic divide have worsened, and jobless growth has made unemployment a grave problem.
A countermeasure taken by my Administration is a people-centered economy. We are pushing ahead with innovative growth to revive economic dynamism on the foundation of a fair economy that ensures fair opportunities and competition as well as income-driven growth to help boost domestic consumption by increasing household income.
More than anything else, we are focusing on job-related policies. Efforts are being made to encourage innovative startups, create jobs by fostering new industries and, at the same time, enhance the quality of jobs by increasing minimum wages, converting non-regular workers’ status to that of permanent employees and reducing working hours.
If the people-centered economy takes root, it will enable an inclusive growth that allows the benefits of growth to be equitably distributed. It will help us inch toward the "strong, sustainable and balanced growth" announced in the G20 Leaders’ Statement in 2009.
In anticipation of the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the world is now concerned about the future of work. There is great anxiety about digitalization and automation reducing job opportunities. I believe that pursuing both innovation and inclusiveness through a people-centered Fourth Industrial Revolution is the only solution.
In this sense, I have high regard for the adoption of the G20 Menu of Policy Options for the Future of Work. It delineates various efforts such as addressing gaps through inclusive welfare while sustaining growth through technological innovation. I hope each country's best practices will be widely shared and utilized.
When it comes to the future of work, especially about employment gaps, I want to emphasize capacity building for women.
Four years ago, G20 leaders issued the G20 Leaders’ Communiqué following the Brisbane Summit. During last year’s G20 Summit, the leaders agreed to launch the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, which was significant progress.
The expansion of women’s economic and social roles is essential for sustainable growth. Korea is striving to enhance women’s economic participation and to achieve gender equality in employment.
Targets for the percentage of women in high-ranking positions in various parts of the public sector are set each year and related policies are being implemented. The private sector is also increasing the number of women in managerial positions by taking active measures to improve employment situation. Parallel efforts are also being made to prevent career interruptions and help women reenter the job market.
Policies have been designed in a way that can provide customized support to female entrepreneurs at different business stages such as startup, growth and expansion. In particular, support will be given to help women demonstrate their digital capacity to the fullest.
Distinguished Chairman and heads of state and government,
I would like to see the G20 nations, including Korea, generously share their successes as well as their experiences with trial and error.
I hope that international cooperation will be expanded so that digitization does not widen the gap between and within countries.
The Republic of Korea will continue to closely communicate with the G20 members and actively cooperate to bring a fair and sustainable future to people around the world.