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Trade Minister presides 27th Trade Promotion Committee meeting 2022-06-03

Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun presided the 27th Trade Promotion Committee on May 27 at the Government Complex Seoul in the attendance of various relevant ministries to discuss the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), Korea-U.S. summit follow-up measures and its economic implications.

The Committee meeting was attended by officials from relevant ministries, including the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Employment and Labor.

In his opening remarks, Minister Ahn emphasized the importance of pan-ministerial cooperation in the “one team” sense in order to nimbly respond to trade and commerce issues across supply chain, technology, healthcare, environment and employment. In particular, he noted that all efforts must go toward making sure there are no setbacks to carrying out follow-up measures regarding the recent Korea-U.S. summit and IPEF launch. He added that “to this end, the Trade Promotion Committee is the ideal pan-ministerial trade platform where global trade issues can be shared and countermeasures sought.”

The main agenda of the committee meeting was the Korea-U.S. summit talks. As the summit was held amidst a highly tense supply chain and pandemic situation, the emphasis was not only on the bilateral security partnership, but also more sharply on the strategic economic and technology partnership.

The two countries intend to utilize the now ministerial Supply Chain Pan-industry Dialogue for expanding supply chain partnership, and will also be cooperating in various emerging high-tech areas, such as AI, quantum, bio, as well as foreign exchange market, healthcare security and space.

Another major item was the IPEF progress update and upcoming plans. The IPEF has now been officially launched across 13 nations, including the U.S., Japan, India and seven ASEAN countries, including Singapore and Indonesia. Ministries’ officials discussed expected IPEF agendas and assessed Korea’s stance. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) stated that it looks forward to IPEF participation in that it will strengthen cooperation on new trade agendas like supply chain, digital and clean energy, while also expanding domestic companies’ market penetration into the Indo-Pacific region.

The third agenda item addressed the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) on June 12-15 in Geneva. MC12 will cover issues that are of most concern to member states, including food security, COVID-19 response, fisheries subsidies and WTO reform.