Seoul City announces ‘measures to counter economic repercussions’
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has taken initiatives to minimize the possible repercussions of North Korea’s attack for Seoul’s economy such as a reduction in foreign investment and a decrease in the number of tourists. While strengthening monitoring of trends in the economy, the city has established a cooperative network with related government agencies to jointly cope with the situation.
City officials held an emergency meeting on Nov. 25 under the chairmanship of Mr. Young-gyu Kwon, Vice Mayor I for Administrative Affairs, to assess the impact of the North Korean artillery attack on the financial markets in and outside Korea and discuss measures to counter possible economic repercussions and public anxiety.
The city government has been closely monitoring developments at major tourist attractions and the tourism industry in Seoul and is making every effort to ensure the perfect safety of foreign tourists.
Seoul City will closely work with foreign businesses and organizations in monitoring overseas economic trends so as to prevent distortions of the Korean market like the ‘Korea Discount’ phenomenon, while exerting special efforts to ease fears of foreigners living in the city.
In addition, the city government has tightened supervision of prices of goods that are related to everyday life of citizens, including the agricultural and fisheries products, in order to secure stability in price and supply of those goods.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said there has not been a remarkable change in the number of foreign tourists since the North Korean shelling. Despite cancellation of some scheduled visits, tourism, in overall terms, remains stable.
Foreign tourists now in Korea do not seem much disturbed and are visiting major attractions in the city like Cheonggyecheon Stream, Gwanghwamun Square and Bukchon Hanok Village as usual. The number of visitors to these places has not changed much, a city official said.
Quoting stock analysts, major foreign media including Reuters have reported that the skirmish was not likely to bring about big plunges in foreign investor sentiment.
North Korean provocations are an issue already familiar to foreign investors and therefore, the new military collision is not likely to cause their exodus from the Korean market, they said, forecasting a limited impact.
Standard and Poor’s, Fitch, Moody’s and other international credit-rating agencies also have predicted that despite the fears caused by the North Korean attack, Korea’s credit rating would remain the same.
Hang Do Choi, Assistant Mayor for Economic Promotion Headquarters of Seoul Metropolitan Government, said that Seoul citizens have returned to normal life and Seoul’s economy also has been back to normal thanks to the prompt countermeasures to relieve fears in and out of the country. The city government is all prepared to ensure that foreign investors and tourists do not face any small inconvenience while in Seoul, he said.