Following the revelation that South Korea posted its worst-ever quarterly GDP figures since the 2008 global financial crisis in the January to March period, Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol convened a hastily-arranged meeting on Friday to discuss the financial situation with the heads of major banks.
Lee said "there is a need to see the current economy situation in a serious manner" and stressed that now is the time to seek policy solutions to reinvigorate corporate investment -- the engine of economic growth.
This comes after a striking on-quarter real GDP contraction of 0.3 percent in the first quarter.
Exports also dropped 2.6 percent on-quarter, a sharper drop than the 1.5 percent decline in the fourth quarter of last year,mainly on decreases of electrical and electronic equipment exports.
Citing slumping corporate investments for the reason for the decline, Governor Lee said investment sentiment has to be revived first in order to spark a recovery in economic growth.
But he insisted the tough times won't continue for long with government contributions and global economic conditions improving.
Meanwhile, in a meeting with related deputy ministers on prices, the Ministry of Economy and Finance vowed to do its utmost to tackle low exports and investment through new economic policy directions in the second half of this year.
The ministry added that Dubai oil prices -- Korea's benchmark -- rose to over 70 U.S. dollars a barrel, and said they will look into ways to respond to it.
Cha Sang-mi, Arirang News.