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Korea’s Regional Cooperation and ODA Policy in Asia: Performance and Challenges
World Economy Brief Korea’s Regional Cooperation and ODA Policy in Asia: Performance and Challenges

The COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing geopolitical conflicts have deteriorated socio-economic conditions all around the world. As developing countries in Asia have made enormous progress in economic and social development based on the stable ground for growth, the development gap within the region has also been expanded. In addition, the region’s socio-economic conditions have become worse after the pandemic. Along with the pandemic crisis, there are several issues that have negatively influenced the region’s sustainable growth, such as climate change and climate-related natural disasters, and conflicts. These multiple crises change the development needs in the region, and cannot be solved through the efforts of any sole country but must be tackled through regional cooperation.

Yul Kwon and Aila Yoo
Evaluation of MC12 Outcomes: Korea's Perspective
KIEP Opinion Evaluation of MC12 Outcomes: Korea's Perspective

Amidst escalating tension among large economies around the world, deepening global economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and geopolitical and economic instability triggered by the war in Ukraine, the MC12 securing the Geneva Package deserves to be evaluated as a success. Of course, MC12 concluded unsatisfactorily. The Geneva Package even includes self-conflicting clauses that may erode its effectiveness. Notwithstanding such inadequacy and flaws, it is still an achievement in that no negotia-tions have been concluded over the past 21 years on this matter. As soon as the summer break ends, WTO negotiations will soon resume and follow-up issues to MC12 are waiting to be dealt with. However, these negotiations are not likely to pace up the speed. Not only will it be no simple matter for the Member countries to evaluate the outcomes of the MC12, but many of the follow-up issues are in sharp contrast among Member countries. After all these considerations, what Korea should do from this point on is to prepare for and participate in follow-up WTO negotiations. This is because the rule-based multilateral trading system in place bears first and foremost significance to any open economies including Korea. At the same time, it is also necessary and probably smart for Korea to take a multi-layered strate-gy simultaneously utilizing regional negotiations such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) or Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), along with WTO multilateral/plurilateral negotiations, as the prospects for the WTO still remain at risk.

Jin Kyo Suh
Australia’s Strategic Responses to the US-China Rivalry and Implications to Korea
World Economy Brief Australia’s Strategic Responses to the US-China Rivalry and Implications to Korea

As in other Asia-Pacific countries, boosting trade with China has provided a growth engine for Australia's economy. Australia shared concerns over security threats posed by China’s military expansion, but up until the mid-2010s hard balancing against China did not seem to be an option for Australia. Australia’s recent moves against China, however, signal that Canberra has reset its China policy, with an overhaul of its national security and defense strategy. The shift of Australia’s China policy is an interesting case to explore how the regional order is likely to evolve in the growing US-China competition. Assessing Australia’s recent foreign policy is also relevant to Korea, both in terms of navigating Korea’s relations with the US and China and enhancing strategic ties between Australia and Korea. Against this backdrop, this study unravels Australia’s strategic responses to the changing regional order and draw implications for Korea's foreign policy.

Ina Choi
Income and Consumption Inequality in Latin American Countries
World Economy Brief Income and Consumption Inequality in Latin American Countries

The recent large-scale protests across Latin America show the seriousness of this inequality in the region. Accumulated complaints about poverty, inequality, and the gap between the rich and the poor are the root causes of the massive protests in Chile that broke out in October 2019 and the demonstrations in Colombia that started in April 2021. This brief looks into the following questions: 1) how profound is inequality in Latin America, and has there been no notable change in its pattern over time? 2) Are the current conditions of poverty and inequality and patterns of inequality the same across Latin American countries?

Sungwoo Hong
Internationalization of the Korean Won in the Light of RMB Internationalization
World Economy Brief Internationalization of the Korean Won in the Light of RMB Internationalization

While China has risen to become a global superpower with a growing impact on the world economy, its currency, the Renminbi (RMB), has a limited role in the existing international financial system. China has made significant progress and will continue to push for the internationalization of the RMB, which can disrupt the global financial system, dominated by the US dollar. Under such circumstances, Korea must find a new direction for the internationalization of the Korean Won. The internationalization of the Korean won will provide new opportunities for the economy to take a further step through financial advancement.

Hyo Sang Kim, Young Sik Jeong, Ji Young Moon and Da Young Yang
China's Strategies to Lead Global Trade Governance and Future Prospects
KIEP Opinion China's Strategies to Lead Global Trade Governance and Future Prospects

China's global trade norm-led strategy is expected to be promoted in four directions: participation in WTO reform; promotion of internal reform through high-level norms; establishment of regional networks centered on China and developing countries, and the introduction of low-level norms; and participation in enacting new trade norms through domestic laws.

SangBaek Hyun
Russia’s Energy Strategy in the Northeast Asian Region and New Korea-Russia Cooperation: Focusing on the Natural Gas and Hydrogen Sectors
World Economy Brief Russia’s Energy Strategy in the Northeast Asian Region and New Korea-Russia Cooperation: Focusing on the Natural Gas and Hydrogen Sectors

This study attempts to identify new directions for energy cooperation between Korea and Russia, focusing on the areas of natural gas and hydrogen. In particular, we derive new directions and tasks for energy cooperation between the two countries, reflecting changes in the international energy environment, such as climate change and decarbonization, which are in full swing at the global level. To this end, this study is consisted of the following four parts. Part II examines the geopolitics of energy coming into the 21st century and Russia’s new energy strategy. Part III conducts an in-depth analysis of the energy cooperation strategies of China and Japan, major Northeast Asian countries, with Russia, and Part IV comprehensively evaluates Korea’s energy strategy and Korea-Russia energy cooperation. In conclusion, Part V presents new plans for Korea-Russia energy cooperation. As a side note, after carrying out this study, the policy environment for energy cooperation with Russia has significantly changed. Russia’s war against Ukraine is expected to change the landscape of global energy and its geopolitics in profound ways. In the midst of these significant changes, it is hoped that this study will serve as a meaningful reference for analyzing and forecasting the global energy dynamics surrounding Russia.

Joungho Park, Boogyun Kang, Seok Hwan Kim, Won Soon Kwon and Andrey Kovsh

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