May 22 local time, the Planning and Finance Committee of the National Assembly of South Korea held a plenary meeting in Seoul.
According to Yonhap News Agency, South Korean Deputy Prime Minister of Economy and Minister of Planning and Finance Choo Kyung-ho reiterated the South Korean government’s position of “not leaving China” when attending the meeting.
Choo Kyung-ho said that China is South Korea’s largest trading partner and the most important economic partner. While South Korea has worked hard to strengthen its relationship with the United States, this should not be interpreted as neglecting the relationship between South Korea and China. “We never announced decoupling from China, and we have no intention of doing so.”
On May 22, at the National Assembly of South Korea in Yeouido, Seoul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Finance Choo Kyung-ho (front left) attended the plenary meeting of the National Assembly’s Planning and Finance Committee and talked with Lee Changyong, Governor of the Bank of Korea (central bank ) .
He said that after returning home from the Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers meeting last week, he met with Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming separately and called on China to provide support for the successful holding of the South Korea-China Economic Ministers Meeting within this year.
According to the website of the Chinese Embassy in South Korea, Ambassador Xing Haiming met with Qiu Qinghao and said that China and South Korea are close neighbors that cannot be moved away, and they are also cooperative partners with intertwined interests and mutual benefits. Under the circumstance of increasing downward pressure on the global economy, the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has risen against the trend. In 2022, mutual investment between China and South Korea will grow rapidly, and bilateral trade will hit a new high. South Korea has become China’s second largest trading partner, which fully demonstrates the strong resilience and huge potential of China-South Korea economic and trade cooperation. At present, China’s economic recovery is strong, and the recovery of consumption and investment is accelerating, which will provide broader development opportunities for countries around the world, including South Korea.
However, he stressed that China has also noticed that some countries have recently artificially built “small courtyards and high walls” and promoted “decoupling short chains”. It is hoped that the South Korean side can adhere to the objective and fair position and the principles of market economy, and actively maintain the stability and smoothness of the industrial and supply chains between China and South Korea. China is willing to work with the ROK to push China-ROK economic and trade relations to a new level.
On May 19, Ambassador Xing Haiming met with Choo Kyung-ho, Deputy Prime Minister of Economy and Minister of Strategy and Finance of South Korea. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs website
Yonhap News Agency reported that at the plenary meeting of the Planning and Finance Committee of the Korean National Assembly, Korean government officials also discussed the huge trade deficit.
“Until recently, we were talking about a deficit of $15 billion and $25 billion, but now, our trade deficit has increased dramatically to $29.4 billion,” said a lawmaker from the Democratic Party of Korea.
According to the latest data released by the Korean Customs Service on Monday (22nd), South Korea has experienced a trade balance deficit for 14 consecutive months, especially in the first quarter when exports to China plummeted by 30%.
As of the 20th of this month, South Korea’s trade deficit this year has reached 29.548 billion US dollars, which is 62% of the full-year trade deficit in 2022 (47.8 billion US dollars), setting a record high.
The South Korean government believes that the reason for the further expansion of the trade deficit is the soaring energy prices and the long-term downturn in the global chip industry.
Regarding the recent expansion of the trade deficit with China, Qiu Qinghao said that after the trade balance with China achieved a surplus of more than 60 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, it has shrunk by an average of 15 billion to 20 billion U.S. dollars every two years. He believes that in addition to short-term economic factors, factors such as China’s strengthening of industrial competitiveness and consumers’ preference for domestic brands have also had a lot of impact.