Gov't policy objectives should not dampen overall biz activities: minister

SEOUL, June 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's finance minister said Tuesday that government policies should not put a damper on ordinary business activities, emphasizing that the country's economic recovery hinges on brisk corporate performance.

The remarks by Hyun Oh-seok came amid concerns that the government's pursuit of the so-called economic democratization aimed at tackling unfair business practices by large conglomerates over smaller companies might hamstring overall business activities and entrepreneurship.

"Economic democratization and economic recovery can and should coexist," Hyun said during a breakfast meeting with heads of the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), the National Tax Service (NTS) and the Korea Customs Service (KCS).

"Even if our policy objectives are desirable, corporate activities should not be dampened in the process of pushing for those objectives," he noted. "Only with brisk business performance can we expect economic recovery and to break the cycle of a low growth trend."

Hyun called for the tax and antitrust watchdogs to take extra precaution in enforcing related laws so as not to discourage overall entrepreneurship.

The three agencies have been on the frontline of cracking down on tax evasion, price rigging and other business malpractices in accordance with the government's ongoing economic democratization drive.

He also promised to have a meeting with heads of the country's five major business lobby groups here "in the near future" to listen to the challenges that they face in doing business and discuss ways to tackle those problems.

<All rights reserved by Yonhap News Agency>