Moon’s advisory panel to submit gov’t reorganization proposal to parliament next month

May 24, 2017

SEOUL, May 24 (Yonhap) — President Moon Jae-in’s policy advisory panel said Wednesday that it would submit a government reorganization proposal, which would reinstall the trade function of the foreign ministry, to parliament next month.

The State Affairs Planning Advisory Committee also said the proposal would elevate the status of the current Small and Medium Business Administration to a ministry in charge of supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, microbusinesses and the self-employed.

The envisioned change is in line with Moon’s campaign pledge.

Under the former government, the trade function of the foreign ministry was moved to the industry ministry, although critics argued that diplomats’ hard-earned expertise in trade negotiations with foreign counterparts should not be neglected.

“Such a general direction (when it comes to government reorganization) has already been fixed (as Moon has mentioned),” Park Kwang-on, the spokesman for the committee, told reporters during a briefing.

This photo, taken on May 22, 2017, shows Park Kwang-on, the spokesman for the State Affairs Planning Advisory Committee, speaking during a press conference at its office in Seoul. (Yonhap)This photo, taken on May 22, 2017, shows Park Kwang-on, the spokesman for the State Affairs Planning Advisory Committee, speaking during a press conference at its office in Seoul. (Yonhap)

“For example, in the case of the industry ministry, its trade function will be transferred to the foreign ministry,” he added.

Park, however, noted that the committee has yet to solicit any opinion from each ministry regarding the restructuring plan.

The spokesman also said that the fire service agency and the coast guard that currently belong to the Ministry of Public Safety and Security will be separated to function as independent state entities.

The committee, which serves as Moon’s de facto government transition team, kicked off its operations Monday. It is tasked with fleshing out policy visions and tasks for the new liberal government that was launched without any preparatory period due to the March 10 ouster of scandal-hit former President Park Geun-hye.

sshluck@yna.co.kr

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