Korea’s microfinance policies receive positive coverage by foreign media
On July 21, Japan’s nationally televised TV Tokyo aired an exclusive coverage on Korea’s microfinance policies in its ‘Global Watch’ section of the news.
It showed President Lee Myungbak visiting traditional markets and listening to hardships faced by street merchants amid a global economic downturn. It went on to introduce a number of initiatives the Korean government has taken to ease the burden on the financially under-privileged households and individuals.
One of government’s measures introduced was the low-interest credit loans given out to low-paid, low-credit laborers for assistance in their daily needs, a program that really helps families struggling to make ends meet.
Another was the debt restructuring program provided to people who failed to repay their debts. It is designed to help the individuals recover their credit through a calculated debt restructuring process that allows them to repay their debt in a much longer period with less interest. Both of these measures are currently utilized to the fullest.
The coverage ended with a noticeable comment that “Japan must implement more of the similar policies done by Korea”.
Another positive coverage was on ‘China Economic Daily’, a leading economic paper in China. Its July 8’s paper printed the article, “The Korean government’s efforts in improving credit for low-income households”.
In it, much of Korea’s microfinance policies were explained in detail including the above mentioned programs along with the loan transfer program, replacing a high-interest loan with low-interest loan, and the New Hope Network, one that works to raise public awareness of all these assistance programs done by the government.
The article said the measures are effective in their purpose and they are important public safety nets which will ultimately help the economy recover from the crisis.