"A country strong in crisis" is how President Moon Jae-in described South Korea during his 2021 budget speech.
He said South Korea was able to show the world how the country is advanced in terms of disease prevention by successfully containing COVID-19 and becoming a role model for the world.
Global credit rating agencies are projecting South Korea to see better economic growth for next year than most countries around the globe.
To make that projection a reality, the proposed budget calls for just under 500 billion U.S. dollars of spending an on-year increase of 8.5 percent.
"It's time to put full-fledged economic revitalization into operation in order to get our economy back on the normal track of growth from next year."
The 'Korean New Deal' is the core of this budget proposal as the country has increased investment to expand employment and the social safety net as well as create new growth engines.
The government will provide an employment maintenance fund to protect 460 thousand jobs, and to create 570 thousand private and more than 1 million public jobs.
More than 7 billion U.S. dollars will be invested in the 'digital new deal' to foster non-contact industries such as establishing a 'data dam' to collect, manufacture, and use data.
Another 7 billion dollars will go into the 'green new deal' as the government plans to replace coal power with renewable energy.
These new developments will be spread nationwide to promote balanced regional growth.
President Moon expects the Korean New Deal project to lead to innovation in people's lives after COVID-19 and asked the National Assembly to support this proposal by actively sharing their ideas about it.
The government also plans to inject 3.5 billion dollars to nurture the growing industries related to system semiconductors, new types of automobiles and bio-health.
The budget also allocates more than 46 billion dollars for defense, but in his speech, the president reiterated the need for dialogue with North Korea.
Referring to peace as a 'common road' for South and North Korea, the president said he hopes the two can find a way to coexist and he will continue to seek for dialogue for the peace and denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.