The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on February 1 that Trade, Industry and Energy Vice Minister Woo Taehee hosted this year’s second meeting of the ‘trade policy forum’ to hear major think tanks’ opinions on the upgrading of the “New Trade Roadmap” in response to the changing trade environment.
The ‘trade policy forum’ provides a platform for Trade Ministry officials and representatives from industry and academia to regularly meet and discuss trade issues. This year’s second meeting was attended by economic experts from private-sector think tanks including the Samsung Economic Research Institute, LG Economic Research Institute and Hyundai Research Institute.
The meeting focused on the upgrading of the New Trade Roadmap, which was created in June 2013 and covers the plans for free trade agreements and bilateral economic cooperation as well as trade-related domestic policies. The Ministry is currently revising the roadmap in line with changes in the environment for trade.
Vice Minister Woo said in an opening remark, “The government is reviewing trade policies and searching for new strategies with consideration of recent changes in the trade environment.”
“This year, we must maintain and accelerate the growth of exports, which rebounded in the fourth quarter last year,” Vice Minister added during the meeting, asking for think tanks’ cooperation on improving the environment for exports.
Experts from think tanks said that they are closely monitoring latest changes in the trade environment including the inauguration of the new U.S. government and the U.K.’s decision to exit the European Union. They proposed the government to focus on boosting trade and investment through making trade policies more relevant to industries with the upgrading of the New Trade Roadmap.
Shin Seung-kwan, President of the Institute for International Trade of Korea International Trade Association, said at the meeting that most companies, apart from those with large overseas operations, need to strengthen their trade departments. He said that private-public actions such as the cooperation between companies’ overseas subsidiaries and diplomatic missions will be important for Korea to prepare for trade issues that may arise in the future.
The attendants noted that the public-private sharing of information on changes in other countries’ trade policies would be helpful for companies to set up their mid- and long-term business strategies.
The Ministry will regularly hold meetings with think tanks to share information and gather opinions of the private sector.