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South Korea pledges help for small firms as population slide looms

Many SMEs say they cannot attract workers as talent goes to chaebols

A jobseeker checks out positions at a job fair in Seoul last year.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- Smaller companies have long been the underdog in South Korea, unable to prevent talent heading to the massive conglomerates that dominate the economy. Now, a looming population decline is set to add to their woes.

In a plan announced on Wednesday to mitigate this demographic challenge, the Finance Ministry pledged to support these small and medium-sized enterprises that account for 88 percent of employment and 38 percent of exports.

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