SEJONG, June 5 (Yonhap) — South Korea will provide liquidity to promising startups if necessary, a senior official said Friday, in the latest move to boost startups.

The comments by Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beom came as the financial mood in venture investment, a high-risk investment sector that helped launch some prominent companies, has deteriorated due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, new investment deals involving startups fell in the first quarter, marking the first quarterly decline since 2013, Kim said.

The government has increased financial support for startups by 500 billion won (US$411 million) and will set up a fund of 1 trillion won to aid startups in the sectors of digital, biotechnology and eco-friendly services, Kim said.

Earlier this week, the government proposed a third extra budget of 35.3 trillion won to cushion the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic.

Kim said the government will spare no efforts for the National Assembly to swiftly approve the budget.