Hong Nam-ki

Hong Nam-ki
홍남기
Hong Nam-ki, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance.jpg
Deputy Prime Minister of South Korea
Assumed office
11 December 2018
Serving with Yoo Eun-hae
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon
Chung Sye-kyun
Kim Boo-kyum
Preceded by Kim Dong-yeon
Prime Minister of South Korea
Acting
In office
17 April 2021 – 14 May 2021
President Moon Jae-in
Preceded by Chung Sye-kyun
Succeeded by Kim Boo-kyum
Minister of Economy and Finance
Assumed office
11 December 2018
President Moon Jae-in
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon
Chung Sye-kyun
Preceded by Kim Dong-yeon
Minister for Government Policy Coordination
In office
11 May 2017 – 9 November 2018
President Moon Jae-in
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon
Preceded by Lee Seok-jun
Succeeded by Noh Hyeong-ouk
1st Vice Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning
In office
18 January 2016 – 10 May 2017
President Park Geun-hye
Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn
Preceded by Lee Seok-joon
Succeeded by Min Won-ki
Personal details
Born (1960-07-29) 29 July 1960 (age 61)
Chuncheon, Gangwon, South Korea
Relatives See Namyang Hong clan
Alma mater Hanyang University
University of Salford

Hong Nam-ki (Korean홍남기; Hanja洪楠基; born 29 July 1960) is a South Korean politician currently serving as Minister of Economy and Finance and as an ex officio Deputy Prime Minister of South Korea under President Moon Jae-in from November 2018. Hong is considered a veteran technocrat working at mostly at budget-related departments under both conservative and liberal governments for over three decades.[1]

Before promoted to President Moon's second finance minister, Hong was his first Minister for Government Policy Coordination (OPC) and previously president Park Geun-hye's vice minister for now-Ministry of Science and ICT.

His nomination as President Moon's next finance minister was strongly recommended by then-Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon whom Hong closely worked for as Minister for Government Policy Coordination.[2] Hong's predecessor, Kim Dong-yeon, also served as the head of OPC under previous administration before appointed as Moon's first finance minister.

Hong is the longest serving Minister of Economy and Finance and Deputy Prime Minister having served in the current role for more than 840 days.[3][4][5] As of December 2020, Hong is also one of four people who continue to serve President Moon as cabinet minister or ministerial-level government official from the beginning of Moon's presidency in 2017 along with Kim Sang-jo, Suh Hoon and Kang Kyung-wha.

Policy Stances

On several occasions, Hong expressed his disapproval of adopting Universal basic income as it only significantly worsens fiscal responsibility without effectively replacing the current social safety net and for this reason it is not adopted by any countries in the world.[6]

After the government and the ruling party led by Lee concluded not to lower the taxation threshold for "a large shareholder" from 1 billion won to 300 million won worth of stocks in a single company[7] upon strong opposition from the both sides of the political parties,[8] Hong submitted his resignation reasoning that "someone had to take responsibility on the debate that lasted for two months and on the current status of not lowering the threshold."[9][10] President Moon immediately rejected his resignation and reaffirmed him[11] citing that he is the right person to lead Korea's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.[12] In response to two petitions calling for Hong's removal from office due to this "shareholder issue," the Blue House reiterated that Hong and the government have committed themselves in economic recovery.[13][14]

In January 2021 Hong reiterated his stance on fiscal responsibility in response to growing discussions on the possible fourth covid-19 relief and financial assistance to businesses affected by the pandemic. Although Korea's debt-to-GDP ratio is relatively low compared to other developed countries, cumulative debt, according to Hong, is a burden to the future generations. He also emphasised that government spending is not a "widow's cruise" and therefore must be spent wisely even in this pandemic. Moreover, in an interview, he expressed his willingness to actively participate in such discussions as he has a solemn duty as the country's finance minister to "guard the storehouse (meaning country's budget)."[15][16][17][18][19]

Education

Hong graduated from Hangyang University with a bachelor degree in economics and MBA. He also holds a master's degree in economics from University of Salford[20] via Korean government fund for its employees' tertiary education in foreign countries.

References

External links

Copyright