[Photo by the Ministry of Economy and Finance]
South Korea’s finance minister Hong Nam-ki and presidential chief of policy Kim Sang-jo will meet leaders of business associations and top management of large conglomerates on Friday to discuss ways to support companies whose businesses are affected by the new coronavirus outbreak.
The government and business leaders will visit the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Friday while they are waiting for the government measures to aid the nation’s auto industry that has taken a severe hit by plant shutdowns in China due to the virus epidemic. Business leaders from Hyundai Motor, Lotte, CJ and other major conglomerates will attend the meeting.
Hong said on Wednesday that the government would announce various aid packages to support the local automakers suffering from the supply chain disruption in China no later than next week.
Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province at the epicenter of the outbreak of the virus, is home to parts making facilities of global car makers. But the plants have been shut down as the entire city is under lockdown, disrupting the global auto supply chains.
Korea’s auto giant Hyundai Motor announced on Tuesday that it would temporarily idle its assembly lines in Korea due to a shortage of components from the parts-making factory closure in China, and resume production as soon as it secures necessary components.
The new coronavirus originating has killed more than 550 people as of Thursday and infected more than 28,000 people.
As the ripple effects from the novel coronavirus are rapidly spreading to a wide range of businesses and economy, the government announced a tax relief measure on Wednesday for merchants and patients who have fallen victim to the outbreak. Patients, suspected patients in quarantine and merchants who had to close down operation can postpone their tax filing and payments for up to nine months. They can also be exempted from tax audits. The beneficiaries include those in tourism, lodging, leisure, restaurant and medical industries.
By Moon Jae-yong and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]