GROWTH IN H2
South Korea's exports rose for the eighth
consecutive month in June helped by surging oil prices and recovery in worldwide
trade. This is a turnaround following two
years of minus growth in 2015 and 2016,
when oil prices fell dramatically.
Outbound shipments rose 15.8 per-
to USD 279.4 billion for the first six
months this year from a year earl-
imports soared 21 percent to USD 233.6
billion during the same time span.
Buoyed by surging exports, which
account for over 40 percent of South
Korea's gross domestic product, the Bank
of Korea recently upgraded its growth
forecast for the country to 2.6 percent
from 2.5 percent.
Barclays, HSBC and Nomura Securi-
Co. expected in separate reports that South
Korea's exports will conti-
nue to grow in
the second half of the year despite slowing
exports in ships and the receding of the
low base effect, according to the Korea
Center for International Finance (KCIF).
LEADERS OF S.KOREA
AND VIETNAM AGREE
TO BOOST BILATERAL
South Korean President Moon Jae-in
and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen
Xuan Phuc agreed to further expand the
countries' bilateral trade and economic
relations while also developing their
In a meeting held on the sidelines of the
Group of 20 summit in Hamburg on July
7, both Moon and Phuc noted that the
countries' bilateral trade and investment
continued to expand with the trade volume
between the two countries coming to USD
45 billion. The leaders also agreed to work
together to achieve a goal of USD 100 bil-
lion in trade by 2020.
Moon expressed hope for increased opportunities for South Korean firms
take part in Vietnam's infrastructure projects, especially in the energy and construc-
tion sectors, while proposing joint efforts
to develop Vietnam's industrial materials
and parts industry.
The Vietnamese leader expressed hope
for increased cooperation in the infrastructure sector, noting increased exchanges
between the countries' small and medium
sized firms will be in line with his coun
try's policy to build a modernized, indus
trial nation. Phuc also expressed hope to
meet Moon again at the upcoming Asia
Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to
be held in Vietnam in November.
Government & Policy
S.KOREA TO BOOST
PUBLIC SECTOR HIRING
OF YOUNG PEOPLE
President Moon Jae-in's policy advisory
panel announced on July 4 the government will expand hiring of young people
in the public sector, the latest in a series of
efforts to create jobs.
Currently, public companies and other
public agencies are required by law to
employ a set number of unem-ployed
youths each year. The gover-nment will
raise the mandatory ratio of hiring of
unemployed youths in the public sector to
5 percent, beginning
next year, according to the State Affairs Planning Advisory
Committee. The unemployment rate for
young people, aged between 15 and 29,
was 9.3 percent in May, much higher than
the overall jobless rate of 3.6 percent,
according to government data.
Most notably, government will provide
up to KRW 60 million (USD 52,000) to a
small firm in promising sectors so they
can pay for the wages of their employees
for three years.
NEW ICT MINISTER
VOWS TO PUSH
During his inauguration ceremony on
July 11, South Korea's new chief ICT policymaker You Young-min said that he will push forward
tough reforms as the country meets challenges under the fourth industrial revolution.
"The Ministry of Science, ICT and
Future Planning (MSIP) should be reborn so that
it can prepare for the future
amid the changes," said You.
He also noted that the ministry will work
with other related agencies while operating the budget for research and develop-
ment (R&D) in the science and technology field.
Earlier, the State Affairs Planning
Advisory Committee announced that the MSIP will be the main government
body to coordinate plans for the next five
The ministry also stated that it will
spend KRW 1.52 trillion (USD 1.3
billion) in 2018 on various science and
technology R&D projects, subject to parliamentary endorsement later this year.
You, with nearly 30 years of exper-
in the software sector, said he plans to
transform the country so it will become a
leader in this critical field.