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South Korea should ease immigration policies: Central banker

Published on Jan 14, 2013 3:32 PM

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea's central bank governor on Monday stressed the need to ease immigration policy and bring more foreign workers to a country whose rapidly ageing population poses a serious economic challenge.

Speaking to foreign journalists in Seoul, Mr Kim Choong Soo said Asia's fourth-largest economy needed to "embrace more migrant workers" in order to drive future growth.

"For instance, the US welcomes one million, even up to two million immigrants a year, which helps its demographics remain so young and maintain economic vitality," Mr Kim said.

After years of promoting family planning in a crowded country of 50 million, South Korea has a chronically low birth rate that will halve the size of its youth population by 2060 and decimate its workforce.

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