Korea, US discuss future-oriented economic cooperation

2018.12.09 17:20:32 | 2018.12.09 17:34:56

(From left) Korea’s Second Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lee Tae-ho, U.S. Representative from Virginia Don Beyer and Chairwoman of the advisory council of the Korea Economic Institute Kathleen Stephens are posing for a group photo. [Photo provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs]이미지 확대

(From left) Korea’s Second Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lee Tae-ho, U.S. Representative from Virginia Don Beyer and Chairwoman of the advisory council of the Korea Economic Institute Kathleen Stephens are posing for a group photo. [Photo provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs]

The second U.S.-Korea Joint Public-Private Economic Forum to promote and expand economic cooperation of the two countries was held on Thursday at Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C., the United States.

More than 120 leaders from political, economic, business and technology sectors attended the forum hosted by the Korea Economic Institute (KEI) to discuss ways to work together to shape shared economic futures against challenges.

Under the theme of “Next Steps in Economic Cooperation,” this year’s forum consisted of three sessions - current status of Korea-U.S. economic relations and outlook, bridging the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy and Korea’s new Southern policy, and science, technology, and innovation (fourth industrial revolution).

Korea’s Second Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lee Tae-ho in opening address said Korea and the U.S. had successfully overcome a range of challenges on the basis of their strong alliance. He emphasized the importance of building closer relationship for bilateral cooperation, regional cooperation and global cooperation, “three distinctive layers of cooperation framework under which Korea and the U.S. can go together into the future.”

U.S. Representative from Virginia Don Beyer, another keynote speaker, also underlined the importance of “longstanding fruitful relationship” of the two nations, explaining exchanges and cooperation in the private sector.

Throughout the session, all the panels shared the same idea that Korea and the U.S. should explore new areas of cooperation that go beyond the FTA in the area of “digital economy”.

“Our members are remain very optimistic and really want to go beyond the corres 2.0 into a new era of cooperation with Korea … The one that I want most emphasize is greater collaboration on digital economy issues that have been mentioned,” said David Gossack, vice president for Asia of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Rho Young-woo, editor of the world news desk at Maeil Business Newspaper (first from right), is speaking during a session at the second U.S.-Korea Joint Public-Private Economic Forum held on Thursday in Washington D.C. [Photo provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs]이미지 확대

Rho Young-woo, editor of the world news desk at Maeil Business Newspaper (first from right), is speaking during a session at the second U.S.-Korea Joint Public-Private Economic Forum held on Thursday in Washington D.C. [Photo provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs]

During the session for discussion about how to coordinate the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy and Korea’s New Southern Policy, Policy and Planning Staff of U.S. Department of State David Feith cited co-development of various platforms for infrastructure, energy and cyber security as examples.

Eric Altbach, senior vice president of Albright Stonebridge Group, also noted that Korea and the U.S. can multiply the impact of their initiatives by coordinating and effectively indentifying joint projects. He called for further trade negotiations to make a significant progress in the ICT sector, which would help overcome market access barriers and regulatory challenges in the digital space.

Rho Young-woo, editor of the world news desk at Maeil Business Newspaper, noted current problems behind the two strategies of Korea and the United States, saying they have no specific action plan. To make a synergy, the two countries have to divide their political and economic problems with specific action plans, he pointed out, emphasizing “multilateralism” that should be respected much more than now.

By Shin Heon-cheol and Lee Ha-yeon

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