By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, Aug. 18 (Yonhap) — The Ministry of Finance of South Korea declared on Friday that it is planning to vigilantly observe the prices of vital commodities in preparation for the Chuseok holiday, given the ongoing economic instabilities.
“We are determined to take care of the availability of items in high demand for Chuseok, and introduce various promotional events in partnership with retailers,” said First Vice Finance Minister Bang Ki-sun during a meeting with the vice ministers of related departments.
The Chuseok holiday, which marks the autumn harvest season, will take place in late September this year.
“Meanwhile, the prices of napa cabbage, white radish, and lettuce have been kept in check after the government released stockpiles and encouraged early shipments,” he added.
Starting next month, South Korea is set to remove tariffs on an extra 30,000 tons of chicken to keep its prices stable.
Bang said the government will also make efforts to make the most of the recent revival of Chinese group tours to South Korea.
“Given that China accounted for more than 30 percent of foreign visitors before the COVID-19 pandemic, we can expect the rise in the number of Chinese tourists to stimulate domestic consumption and improve the tourism balance,” Bang said.
According to data compiled by the Bank of Korea, an increase of one million Chinese tourists is likely to contribute to 0.08 percentage-point growth in gross domestic consumption.
“In order to draw in more Chinese tourists, we plan to rapidly increase the number of flights between South Korea and China, and open additional visa application centers in Beijing and Shenyang,” Bang said, noting that the government will come up with detailed measures in early September.
First Vice Finance Minister Bang Ki-sun speaks during a meeting held in Seoul in this photo released by the Ministry of Economy and Finance on Aug. 18, 2023. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)