WASHINGTON -- A top Treasury Department official called on South Korea to introduce sweeping measures to liberalize its financial services market.
Lawrence Summers, under secretary for international affairs, outlined a six-point plan that he said would give "U.S. banks and securities firms a fair opportunity to compete" in South Korean financial markets.
Presidents Clinton is scheduled to visit Seoul on July 10 following a three-day visit to Tokyo for the Group of Seven nations' summit. Bilateral talks with South Korea over financial services liberalization have been under way for more than a year.
Suggestions for Five-Year Plan
In a speech to the U.S.-Korea Business Council, Mr. Summers said that the White House is seeking to encourage trade liberalization by the South Korean government during its current deliberations over a new five-year economic plan.
Among the points raised by the under secretary:
* Decontrol of domestic interest rates.
* Easing of restrictions on capital account and foreign exchange transactions, including limits due to deferred payments for imports and on underlying documentation required for foreign exchange transactions.
* Elimination of direct credit schemes, which the Treasury Department says limits banks' abilities to lend what they see as the most profitable ventures.
* Deregulation of monetary controls to free banks from mandatory purchases to win funding, replacing limits that the Treasury Department says restrict the ability of foreign firms to do business.
* Adoption of "transparent, consistent, and open" regulations.