- Information Center
- Investment News
President Lee Myung-bak called for South Korean businesses to shift their focus
to fast-growing emerging markets in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and
elsewhere to help Asia's fourth-largest economy to continue growing through
further expanding trade.
South Korea broke the US$1-trillion mark in trade for the first time last year and is expected to achieve the feat again this year despite the global economic slump that has led to most advanced countries seeing trade decline, Lee said during a speech marking Trade Day.
Lee said South Korea should work harder to expand its trade volume to US$2 trillion by 2020.
"If we are to leap again, we have to actively expand to fast-growing emerging markets," Lee said during the ceremony at COEX in southern Seoul. "The axis that leads global economic growth is shifting rapidly to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America and Africa."
Southeast Asia and the Middle East are of extra significance, Lee said, as these regions are rapidly growing right now, with the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN boasting a combined population of 680 million and US$2.2 trillion in gross domestic product.
The Middle East is also the only booming region in the world right now due to the sharp rise in the price of oil, Lee said, stressing the region offers good business opportunities as it is rich in natural resources, financial capabilities and demand for development projects, Lee said.