Since taking office this week, President Yoon Suk-yeol has been emphasizing the need to improve the economy and people's livelihoods and to do that, he said on Friday, the government needs to hear from people who are working hands-on in various sectors of the economy.
He was speaking in a meeting at the Korea Center for International Finance in Seoul.
"The people can quite literally feel that the economy is in a difficult place. I believe that to understand a problem we always need to look for answers in the field. The economy is where the people live their lives and do their jobs."
He added that even if a policy seems good, the government must consider in detail its impact on the market and how it'll affect the judgement and thinking of economic actors.
The presidential office said it was Yoon's first work-related outing since taking office, adding that it shows his determination to prioritize the economy and improve people's livelihoods.
The President also stressed the need for "preemptive" measures to overcome the current economic situation.
"At a time like this, the government needs to have an accurate understanding of the economic situation, and based on that, it needs to respond to the crisis proactively."
President Yoon brought up a number of concerns, such as the impact of the pandemic, global supply chain issues, inflation, rising volatility in the foreign exchange market, the trade deficit and a slowdown in the real economy.
The head of the Korea Center for International Finance stressed the need for close monitoring and a fine-tuned monetary policy.
"Prices have been soaring since the end of last year, and that is being strongly reflected in monetary policy. That has resulted in growing concerns about stagflation, a situation where prices are out of control and the economy is slowing down. This is why the financial markets are so volatile right now."
The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho, and Bank of Korea Governor Rhee Chang-yong and other experts.
The experts raised concerns about inflation and possible stagflation as well as growing downside risks due to rate hikes in major economies.
As for the financial and foreign exchange markets, they said they expect uncertainty to lead to greater volatility.
Also discussed were measures to increase the supply of homes and easing regulations to stabilize the real estate market.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.