By Kim Eun-young and Kim Min-Jeung
President Moon Jae-in said on Sept. 4 that investing in social overhead capital (SOC) related to people's everyday lives is an investment in the people for the region. He stressed that development of the country’s SOC is the road toward becoming an inclusive society.
President Moon was visiting Eunpyeong-gu District’s “library village” in Seoul that was built by renovating an existing multiplex and some detached homes in order to shorten construction times and to lower costs. This was part of his administration’s plans to invest in so-called social overhead capital (SOC), infrastructure projects closely related to people's everyday lives. The library was introduced as a great example of the SOC that the Korean government is promoting, as the local residents participated in its co-op set up and in its management.
The president said, “Previously, SOC referred to heavy infrastructure, like highways, airports and railways. However, now that households are coming down in size and the number of working couples are increasing, the need for community centers, day care centers, and libraries is increasing.”
“Investing in SOC related to people's everyday lives will not only improve people's daily lives, but will develop the area and create more jobs, effectively killing three birds with one stone,” the president said.
“The government is working toward becoming a people-centered economy that benefits all, and we are targeting income-led growth. This is the road toward becoming an inclusive society and a country where everyone co-exists.”
President Moon said that SOC related to people's everyday lives is an investment both in the people and in the region, and that the central government’s SOC development budget for next year is estimated at around USD 7.8 billion, up 50 percent from this year’s total of 5.2 billion. He vowed to build 16 neighborhood sports facilities both for local residents and for the disabled, 24 small libraries, and 200 day care centers.