Gov't to Remove Obstacles in Export Financing

Article excerpt

The government will focus on removing obstacles to export financing in hopes of realizing a $25-billion trade surplus this year, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) said yesterday.

In the year's second government-industry meeting to promote exports, Minister Park Tae-young said his ministry is considering easing its insistence on year-end debt-to-equity ratios of 200 percent for general trading companies affiliated with large conglomerates, re-setting the figure at 400 percent.

Also under study are the extension of insurance guarantees for D/A (deposit after acceptance) export and a deregulation of foreign exchange liquidity controls concerning exporters.

Barter trade will be pushed with Southeast Asian countries and lease funds will be scaled up for exporters to Latin America and the Middle East, which lack foreign reserves but are rich in oil and other alternative means of payment.

There also will be increased efforts to develop niche markets and to foster trade-minded diplomatic activities with the U.S., Europe and Japan.

The ministry will legislate a law to firm up the trade infrastructure. The envisioned Trade Infrastructure Promotion Law will facilitate the construction of exposition sites, the training of trade-related personnel and the fostering of Internet-based trade.

In the meeting, Minister Park urged the related ministries and economic and trade organizations to come up with active and substantial measures to help the nation reach its goal so as to allow a complete recovery from the crisis and pave the way for a new take-off.

The business community recommended that the government lower the cost of exports and ease the conditions for export financing. It was also asked to provide measures supportive of international marketing and to efficiently respond to trade pressure from foreign countries while stabilizing labor-management relations. …