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(SEOUL=Yonhap News) South Korea's finance minister promised Wednesday to bolster efforts to help local companies obtain more overseas deals in a bid to prop up their growth.
"The ministry will make utmost efforts for a turnaround in local firms' overseas contracts over the next three years as a way of bringing new momentum to our economy," Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said during a visit to a Hyundai Elevator plant in Icheon, south of Seoul.
His remark came as South Korean companies have seen a significant drop in their offshore orders in the last two years, which mainly include building key public infrastructures and facilities.
Their overseas infrastructure contracts reached US$28.2 billion at the end of 2016, tumbling from $66 billion in 2014, according to government data.
"We will come up with more detailed strategies that can bring the companies, related government agencies and policy financing bodies together to fuel growth," Yoo said.
The government also plans to increase loans to the companies engaged in overseas projects to 10 trillion won (US$8.75 billion) this year, up 2.2 trillion won from last year, the minister added.
Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho talks with an official while paying a visit to Hyundai Elevator Co.'s production line in Icheon, south of Seoul, on Feb. 15, 2017. (Yonhap)
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Source: Yonhap News (Feb. 15, 2017)