The coronavirus epidemic has pushed for “significant change” in global trade as governments become more and more stable in terms of sustainable development and next-generation technological opportunities, according to South Korea’s trade minister.
Yeo Han-koo told the Financial Times newspaper in an interview that the traditional stimulus on market access and availability of retail products was found to be declining.
“The growth of the business climate we had before the epidemic – especially the opening of the market for trade and employment, start-up rules and so on – is not the business plan we are seeing in the new era,” Yeo said.
“Digitalization, cybersecurity and the imposition of upcoming technical traffic laws: these are new challenges.”
Yeo cited the sharp decline in diesel emissions in November as an example of the volatile nature of the situation that plagued policymakers.
South Korea relies on China for more than 97 percent of its exports to DEF. But after Beijing banned the export of urea, a key component of DEF used to reduce toxic emissions from diesel engines, the country’s regulatory authority met with threats that were about to end. South Korean troops have been forced to carry thousands of gallons of knowledge from Australia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
“This was not even a masterpiece, but we woke up one morning and realized that we were dependent on just one country. We need to be more proactive in preventing this from happening, “said Yeo.
The World Bank has named South Korea the eighth largest exporter of goods and services in the world. An increasing supply of chips, trucks and ships is driving the country’s economy well from the Covid crisis, and exports and sales are expected to reach this year.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy announced this month that it is preparing to sign to participate in the Comprehensive and Advancing Partnership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, China’s desire to enter into a regional trade agreement eased Seoul’s fears of disrupting a major trading partner.
But it is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
The two countries are at loggerheads with the World Trade Organization over export controls that Tokyo established in South Korea semiconductor regions in 2019 over the Japanese war effort in Korea. All CPTTP members must approve the terms of the agreement.
Yeo acknowledged that “we have not had the opportunity to discuss in depth” but stressed that the responsibility to repair relations with Tokyo.
“It was Japan that established the foreign policy, and since then Korea has developed all that Japan has raised,” he said. “So it’s time for Japan to come up with a positive, encouraging idea and see how we can solve this problem.”
Individually, Yeo insisted that Seoul was “not involved” in the US-China conflict.
“The previous alliance in the US-China relationship has broken down, so now everyone is reorganizing to find a new alliance,” Yeo said.
South Korea and the like-minded governments “do not want the conflict to cause global economic turmoil”, he added.
“It’s not just Korea. Many countries in the region are facing a similar crisis.”
Seoul has worked closely with Biden’s management to meet Washington’s needs in the regions including electric vehicles and semiconductors.
Yeo thanked Katherine Tai, a US trade representative, for her intervention broker institution to resolve a bitter dispute between Korean SK and LG batteries.
The dispute threatened the future of SK’s $ 2.6bn battery plant in the US state of Georgia, with Ford and Volkswagen planning to build electric vehicles in America.
“Katherine Tai’s intervention saved thousands of jobs and ways to supply US-South Korea with EV batteries,” Yeo said. “This was an example of what business executives can do.”
But he acknowledged that chip manufacturers in South Korea are not based on the US demand for more information on chip availability and demand, statistics and various customer segments.
“Companies will be concerned that this type of information may disclose information about consumers and their business secrets,” he said. “We have expressed our concerns, and the US has told us it understands the concerns.”
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