S. Korea to spend US$95bil on green projects to boost economy

People walk below a display on a building showing messages of support for health workers and the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic outside Seoul station on July 8, 2020. - AFP

SEOUL (Reuters): South Korea’s government launched a plan on Tuesday (July 14) to spend 114.1 trillion won (US$94.6 billion) on a 'Green New Deal' to create jobs and help its economy recover from the impact of the coronavirus, said President Moon Jae-in.

The plan would move Asia’s fourth-largest economy away from its heavy reliance on fossil fuels and promote environmentally friendly industries powered by digital technologies, including electric and hydrogen cars, smart grids and telemedicine.

The new projects are expected to create some 1.9 million jobs through 2025, Moon said in a speech.

South Korea aimed to have 1.13 million electric vehicles and 200,000 hydrogen cars on the roads by 2025, up from 91,000 and 5,000 respectively at the end of 2019, he said, while the government would expand charging stations for the vehicles.

The plan would promote remote medical services, a work-from-home policy for businesses and online schools based on fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks, and would include tax breaks for telecom providers installing the systems.

The government would also invest 24.3 trillion won to set up smart grids across the country to manage electricity use more efficiently, Moon said. - Reuters

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