Analysis of Major Agendas at the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference: Korea’s Perspectives
The WTO’s 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) will take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate. The Ministerial is expected to discuss follow-up agenda items from the 12th WTO Ministerial Con..
Euisik Hwang et al. Date 2024.02.20Economic integration, international tradeDownloadContentSummaryThe WTO’s 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) will take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate. The Ministerial is expected to discuss follow-up agenda items from the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12), such as fishery subsidies, the e-commerce moratorium, whether to extend intellectual property rights exemptions to diagnosis and treatment for COVID-19, and WTO reform. In addition, there may also be an attempt to incorporate into the Investment Facilitation for Development (IFD) into WTO law. Additionally, the e-commerce Joint Statement Initiative (JSI) may also attempt to conclude the negotiations at MC13.Agriculture and development, traditional issues in WTO multilateral negotiations, are also expected to be discussed at MC13 regardless of whether there is an agreement or not. Finally, issues such as women and trade, climate change, and industrial policy (subsidies), which has recently attracted much international attention, are expected to be discussed at MC13.The direction of Korea’s negotiation response in preparation for MC13 can be summarized as follows. First of all, the possibility of reaching a consensus at MC13 must be analyzed first. In other words, since the negotiation period for a ministerial meeting is only 3 to 4 days, it is virtually impossible to reach an agreement through short negotiations unless the agenda is one in which the differences among member countries have been significantly narrowed in advance. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the possibility of reaching agreement on each agenda and to focus negotiating strength on those agendas on which agreement can be reached.From this perspective, the fisheries subsidies negotiations and the e-commerce JSI are agendas that have narrowed much of the differences between member countries through previous intensive negotiations. It is expected that most fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing (OC/OF) will be prohibited. In addition, Korea is likely to be amongst the 20 largest providers of fisheries subsidies, so it will be subject to additional regulations. However, there is still a big difference in the positions of major countries on special and differential treatments (S&D) for developing countries, including the notification issue of forced labor, so they may not be able to reach an agreement at the MC13. In the case of Korea, it is necessary to deal with negotiations in such a way as to postpone reaching an agreement until MC14 by uniting with other countries and highlighting the problems with the current draft text. In addition, in preparation for the future WTO fisheries subsidy notification, there is a need to closely review domestic fisheries subsidy policies and reclassify fisheries subsidies in line with fishery resource management policies.In the case of the e-commerce JSI, many of the key issues have been resolved due to the United Sates’ withdrawal of its original position. However, there are still issues, such as horizontal issues. In particular, whether or not to extend the moratorium on electronic transmission is a contentious issue that was difficult to reach agreement on at the previous MC12, and as some countries are still strongly opposed to extending the moratorium, it is expected that MC13 will also face considerable difficulties. Korea needs to engage to MC13 in a way that contributes to reaching an agreement on the e-commerce JSI. However, it is necessary to pay attention to the give-and-take compromise among major countries on whether to extend the moratorium in the final stage of MC13.As with other agendas, the positions of Member countries are sharply conflicting, so it is difficult to expect any particular outcomes from the MC13. The question of whether or not to extend the scope of intellectual property exemptions to COVID-19 diagnostics and treatments is important to substantially improve access to COVID-19 diagnostics and treatments in developing countries (including least developed countries). Therefore, it is necessary to temporarily support the expansion of the scope of the exemption, but make it subject to monitoring and evaluation by relevant international organizations to analyze its effectiveness.We have important interests at stake in WTO reform, so it is important to actively participate, but to accurately recognize our limitations by taking into account the characteristics of multilateral negotiations. In particular, the will of the United States has an absolute influence on the reform of the dispute settlement system (DSS). Therefore, it is necessary to handle negotiations in such a way that properly reflects the US interest based on the principle of a two-tired dispute settlement system with an appellate function. In particular, it is possible to propose a plan to use periodic review by the DSB(Dispute Settlement Body) or review by panel judges to keep appellate judges in check. Meanwhile, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) such as good offices, arbitration, and mediation should be allowed for efficiency. However, considering the possibility of a favorable outcome for a powerful country, the possibility of going to lawsuit (panel, etc.) should be left open.Agriculture is a sharp conflict of interests among Member countries, so MC13 should focus on the specific content of the future work plan rather than the derivation of outcomes. In particular, the direction of future discussions on domestic subsidy reduction needs to focus on developing a work plan that meets our interests. As the conflict between developed and developing countries continues, it is unlikely that any results in development agenda will be achieved in MC13. In the case of Korea, it is necessar to be proactive in granting flexibility to the least developed countries (LDCs). To achieve this, it will be necessary to propose a plan to change the extension of benefits upon graduation from LDCs to a mandatory provision rather than a best-efforts clause.Regrading policy space, it is important to determine our position on the industrial subsidy of major countries. Korea ay provide subsidies to develop its own high-tech industries. Therefore, some flexibility is needed in the application of WTO subsidy provisions. However, rather than Korea's utilization, unfair competition due to the astronomical scale of subsidies provided by major countries (including developed countries as well as China and India) may be a bigger problem for Korea. Therefore, it is necessary to deal with industrial subsidies based on the principle of effective regulation rather than permission, but in the direction of providing an appropriate level of flexibility for each situation. To this end, an institutional mechanism needs to be established within the WTO that can focus on discussing and recommending relevant subsidy policies of Member countries.
Refugee Protection Practices in 5 ASEAN Countries and Their Implications for South Korea
Recently, we have witnessed global refugee crises caused not only by armed conflicts and wars but also by climate change. The situation is as serious as they were when the international community adopted the 1951 Convention Relati..
Je Seong Jeon et al. Date 2023.12.30ODA, Economic cooperationDownloadContentSummaryRecently, we have witnessed global refugee crises caused not only by armed conflicts and wars but also by climate change. The situation is as serious as they were when the international community adopted the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (hereafter the 1951 Convention), requiring international cooperation and collaboration more than ever. However, the international responses have not been enough, even retrograde, to address the crises. For instance, refugee hosting countries, like Australia and the USA, used to provide resettlement opportunities for refugees over the long histories of immigrants, complying with the 1951 Refugees Convention. But now, even those countries are trying to evade refugee protection responsibilities. The indefinite delay of resettlement to the host countries, mainly in the global north, has led to a ‘protracted refugee situation’ in the accommodating countries in Southeast Asia, which reveals the limitation of the international refugee regime based on the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (hereafter the 1967 Protocol).The refugee issues demand international collaboration because it is related to people crossing the borders. That is why the international community realized the necessity to regulate the issue and formulated the international refugee laws, including the 1951 Refugees Convention and the 1967 Protocol, to share the responsibilities. Korea also has taken part in these efforts by ratifying the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol in 1991 and legislating the Refugee Law in 2013 for the first time in Asia. In addition, the country has implemented a pilot program to resettle around 30 refugees yearly since 2015. However, there are many challenges to complying with international regulations and fulfilling responsibilities to protect refugees, as we noticed from the case of Yemen refugees claiming asylum in Jeju Island in 2018. Also, Korea has often been criticized for evading its fair share of refugee protection responsibilities due to its low refugee recognition rate, which is 2.8%.This study aims to suggest some implications for refugee policies to help the Korean government carry out its obligations as a sound member of the international community. In this regard, some ASEAN countries may provide good reference points with their decades-long experiences coping with refugee issues.Southeast Asia is a region both to be the origins of refugees and to provide accommodating space for them over the years. This two-sided situation has been developed due to the ‘open regional system’ based on its geographical and environmental aspects. The countries in Southeast Asia have been the origins of refugees in their histories. Their histories have evolved by combining the external pressure and internal dynamics from the traditional state-building process and colonization by the Western powers to independence movements. All these events have frequently led to wars and conflicts with their neighbors and/or within the countries. At the same time, Southeast Asian countries have provided shelters for refugees flowing in from the neighboring countries.In fact, from when we had no clear distinction between victims of disaster, displaced people and refugees, peoples in Southeast Asia have crossed the borders with much fewer restrictions. Although the modern state-nations have developed more strict distinctions based on peoples' origins and the borderlines, Southeast Asian countries have tolerated those moving into their territories and allowed their, though unofficial, integration. These Southeast Asian histories and experiences seem different from those assumed by the international refugee regime based on the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol. Thus, we may need different perspectives to understand them. This study aims to highlight the lessons learned from some ASEAN countries' experiences, explore the implications of improving the Korean refugee policies, and search for the themes and methods of future collaborations with these countries.We select the countries for our study with a criterion: whether to ratify the international refugee laws. The first group includes those ratifying the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol, which means they are expected to have institutional protection for refugees, complying with international standards to some extent. These countries could be used as reference points for Korea under similar conditions. The second group consists of the countries without ratifying either but allowing the refugee influx for decades. They provide ‘partial’ or ‘unofficial’ protection for refugees because they do not recognize the refugee status but permit the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organization for Migration (IOM), and other local/ international NGOs to help refugees. We select five ASEAN countries, the Philippines, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, and put the first two countries into the ratifying group and the other three into the non-ratifying group.We use a comparative methodology, ‘contrast of contexts,’ to extract the implications of the refugee protection practices in the five countries with three variables, institution, geo-environment, and socio-political environment, reflecting the characteristics of the five selected countries. First, with the institution variable, we determine whether ratification of the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol would provide any actual protection to refugees. Second, we use the geo-environmental variable dividing Southeast Asia into two, mainland (Thailand and Cambodia) and maritime (Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines), to understand the influence of the geographical location and environmental factors on the refugee issues. This variable helps explain the ways of the refugee inflow and outflow and the size and composition of the incoming refugees. The last variable, the socio-political factor, is selected to explore the relationship between the levels of democracy and refugee protection. We categorize Thailand and Cambodia as electoral authoritarianism and Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines as electoral democracies. We also analyze what aspects of the political system may create differences in refugee protection practices. The political variable may affect the variety of actors, the autonomy of civil society, refugees' preferences, and local integration.The existing literature on Southeast Asian refugee issues mainly focuses on ratifying the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol and criticizes the institutional weaknesses of refugee protection.Specifically, most studies are inclined to denounce the accommodating countries to control the refugee inflow with the immigration law, to regard their policies as defensive, and to depreciate the outcomes of the refugee-relevant practices in these countries. While the existing studies narrowly focus on the institutional protection the central governments provide, they ignore positive outcomes and achievements made by other actors, including local governments, international organizations, civil society, and refugee-led organizations. Our study wants to fill the gap by exploring the practices of refugee protection carried out by various actors, both governmental and non-governmental, by overcoming the weaknesses of regulations and policies through interaction.Chapter 3 presents the essence of our study, investigating the refugee situations in the five countries and analyzing the refugee protection practices of different actors and their implications.Thailand's geographical location has made the country most susceptible to refugee crises caused by the events in the neighboring countries. Especially during the Indochina War, the country formed a primary policy direction in responding to the refugee crises, summarized as ‘humane deterrence,’ which Thailand has maintained until now. In 1979, when the country had the refugee influx from Cambodia, the Thai government enacted an immigration law, defining anybody entering the country without the government's permission as ‘an illegal immigrant.’ It has become the basic approach of the Thai government to apply not only to refugees from the Indochina War but also to any refugees arriving later, including massive inflow from Myanmar. However, in reality, the Thai government has accommodated around 100,000 Myanmar refugees in 9 refugee camps scattered along the Thai-Myanmar border and provided shelter by conniving the countless Myanmar people without refugee status to live as undocumented immigrants in the Thai territory. Even though the country did not ratify the 1951 Convention, she has the constitution and other domestic laws to be used for refugee protection while ratifying several international human rights laws to provide legal space for complementary protection. In addition, the country has allowed unofficial protection to be provided by international organizations, including UNHCR and refugee-supporting NGOs. In response to the prolonged Myanmar refugee situation, the Thai government formed the Provincial Admission Boards in the provincial governments to support the registration of qualified refugees for the third country resettlement program implemented by UNHCR, the USA and other Western countries in the mid-2000s. Also, the Thai government has provided medical services and education through various non-governmental actors' activities, including Mae Tao Clinic. In summary, while Thailand has insufficient institutional protection at the national level, the country has provided various complementary protection.Malaysia has hosted the most enormous number of refugees in Southeast Asia. In 2022, the country was recorded to host 134,554 refugees from various origins, including those out of Southeast Asia and neighboring countries such as Myanmar, from which refugees passed through Thailand. The Andaman Sea Crisis of Rohingya in 2015 became a turning point in Malaysian refugee policies. Since then, the Malay government has allowed Southeast Asian refugees to stay temporarily in its territory until durable solutions for refugees are made. Recently, the refugee influx due to the military coup in Myanmar has increased the work burden of UNHCR, which has been the leading actor in determining the refugee status and protecting them, resulting in the deteriorating situation of refugees. Similar to Thailand, Malaysia has an immigration law to control refugees, thus leaving refugees without any legal status and making refugees vulnerable to arbitrary detention and deportation as illegal aliens.When a country does not ratify the Refugee Convention, we may appeal to international human rights laws for complementary refugee protection. However, Malaysia ratified only three core international human rights laws: the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Even worse, the country made several reservations for each Convention, resulting in watering down the laws. Nonetheless, it is crucial to recognize that the country has allowed various international organizations, national agencies and civil society to promote the refugees' rights in alternative ways. In addition, recently, the Malay Prime Minister has taken more positive steps related to the refugee issues, such as using the term ‘refugees’ to refer to those who would be called ‘illegal aliens’ and urging cooperation and collaboration of Southeast Asian countries over the issues.Moreover, there was a significant legal case in February 2023 about refugees' worker rights. A refugee worker brought a case of unfair dismissal and wage delay to the Industrial Court of Malaysia and received a favorable verdict. The victory was regarded as an official recognition of the rights of refugees as workers for the first time. The case was a part of the legal progress and achievements for refugees and other social issues, such as the death penalty and women's and minorities' rights, through legislation and court cases during the first half of 2023. The Malaysian experiences suggest an important lesson that enhancing democracy in a society may be as crucial as the international refugee regime in order to improve refugee protection.Indonesia also did not ratify the refugee convention or the refugee law. The country has used the immigration law to deal with refugee issues. These facts may attribute the country seemingly to having very weak refugee institutions. However, contrary to the strict official position, the government has implemented refugee policies based on tolerance and co-existence. Mainly, the government has provided partial or informal protection by collaborating with international and local organizations working for refugees. These groups include UNHCR Indonesia, IOM, Jesuit Refugee Service Indonesia, SUAKA, Human Rights Working Group, and Amnesty Indonesia.In addition, Indonesia ratified several international human rights laws, which can be used to advocate complementary protection for refugees. Also, in 2009, the country contributed to forming the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and became the only country to appoint a human rights activist as its representative. AICHR is a body that copes with human rights issues that ASEAN may not officially cover. Thurs, it can work on refugee issues.Historically, the Philippines has accepted refugees from various origins both in and out of Southeast Asia. The refugee history could date back to 1910 when White Russians escaping from Russia flowed into the country after World War I. Since then, the country has opened its door to refugees around the world nine times more and ratified the Convention and the Protocol in 1981, earlier than many other countries. Also, the country accommodated around 300,000 refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos during the Indochina refugee crisis.Also, the country installed the refugee status determination system in 1988 for the first time among ASEAN countries. The Refugees and Stateless Persons Protection Unit under the Ministry of Justice introduced the procedures to determine the status of stateless persons in 2012, which are closely related to refugee status determination. Furthermore, the government enacted ‘the Rule on Facilitated Naturalization of Refugees and Stateless Persons’ in March 2022, the first case in the world for the judicature to lead the simplification of the naturalization procedures of stateless persons.In addition, some of its cities have participated in the UNHCR campaign of Cities #WithRefugees since 2019. This is one of the examples of local governments taking part in the international initiative for refugee protection. In the campaign, 13 Philippines cities have signed the statement of solidarity together with more than 250 cities worldwide, pledging to support refugees and promote inclusion. In August 2023, the Philippines continued to respect international standards, including joining the ‘New Transit Agreement.’ However, despite its efforts, the number of refugees in the Philippines was only 856 in 2022. It may mean that the institutionalization of refugee protection may not be enough to protect refugees.Once Cambodia was one of the origins of mass refugee outflow during the Indochina refugee crisis, the country ratified the Refugee Convention in 1992 following the Philippines, and all nine core international human rights laws closely related to refugee protection. In this regard, the country could be compared to the Philippines. However, the number of refugees staying in the country was only 24 persons in 2022, the majority of whom were Montagnard, the indigenous people from Vietnam Highlands escaping during the Vietnam War. In addition, even after the new government was set up through the 1993 election, the country has struggled with its domestic issues, including massive Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) resulting from internal political turbulence.Cambodia has a sound legal foundation for refugee protection both in general and in detail, with the constitution guaranteeing universal human rights and respect for international laws and with the 2009 enactment of a decree about the refugee status determination (RSD) procedure. However, especially the 2009 decree resulted in some negative outcomes. One of the most significant changes made by the decree was transferring the task of determining refugee status, which used to be done by UNHCR, to the Cambodian government. This change caused several problems. For instance, the RSD procedures have been considerably delayed, but there was no government support. This situation has increased the economic and psychological burdens of asylum seekers. Even worse, the Cambodian government has been criticized for using refugees for the country's economic gains. One such case was receiving tremendous aid from China after deporting Uighur asylum seekers to China in 2009. Another case was that the Cambodian government accepted 55 million Australian Dollars in return for signing an agreement about resetting Nauru refugees in Cambodia who initially tried to seek protection in Australia in 2014. To make matters worse, the country has no non-governmental actors except Jesuit Refugee Service Cambodia.The comparative analysis of refugee protection practices in the five ASEAN countries reveals that the three factors proposed in the research methods were valid. In particular, geographical factor such as geographical proximity is directly correlated with the high level of refugee admission in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Besides, the socio-cultural characteristics of mainland or island Southeast Asia also have varying effects on different countries. For example, the official religion of Malaysia, Islam, which is considered a characteristic of island Southeast Asia, plays as a pulling factor in drawing Muslim refugees into the country, including the Rohingya people from Myanmar.It was also found that the economic condition of host countries is a significant factor. This claim is supported by the massive flow of refugees heading to Malaysia and Thailand, the two largest labor-importing countries in the region. Conversely, the economic factor also explains why the Philippines and Cambodia host a minimal number of refugees, although they are the signatories to the refugee treaties to some extent. Refugees tend not to consider the two countries as their final destination since the states provide minimal opportunities for refugee employment.Economic factor provides valuable insights for understanding the prolonged refugee crisis in Southeast Asia. Given the significant delay and uncertainty of resettlement to the third country, refugees are more likely to move to host countries with relatively stable livelihoods. Refugees would prefer host countries that tolerate their presence to some extent over countries where employment opportunities are scarce- although the tolerance is entirely driven by the state's economic necessity. This finding seems to be valid in the cases of the five ASEAN countries analyzed in this study. Importantly, however, from the perspective of refugees risking their lives to escape their home countries, it is likely that their ultimate goal is not just to save their lives. Refugees are looking for places where they can not only economically survive but also live with the fundamental rights and dignity they are entitled to as human beings. This understanding draws our attention to the relationship between refugee protection and democracy. Comparing the level of democracy in the five ASEAN countries supports this assumption.This study devised a comparative framework to distinguish between Thailand and Cambodia as the countries with an electoral authoritarian regime and Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines as the countries with an electoral democracy. This analytic frame was based on the idea that all the countries under study have electoral systems. However, in cases where authoritarian rule is strong, the effectiveness of these systems may be limited. However, this framework does not adequately explain the large-scale refugee movement towards Thailand. In this study, therefore, the role of democracy in refugee protection in each state was examined not only based on electoral systems but also by using various components of democracy. The analysis of democracy and freedom in the selected countries shows a significant relationship between the level of democracy of host countries and their refugee protection. The democracy factor was particularly useful in explaining the poor refugee protection in Cambodia, which has the lowest democracy index among the five countries assessed in this study. Protecting refugees is critically challenging in a country where political activities to hold ruling parties accountable are suppressed, and civil society advocating for the rights of minorities is absent, even if they all have the electoral system.Although countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines are often categorized as “flawed democracies,” their civil societies are active in refugee protection, and refugees living in those countries are also actively engaged in seeking their rights instead of remaining passive recipients of protection. Considering those cases, it is likely that the level of states' refugee protection improves with the level of democracy of the host country.Building upon the comparative analysis of refugee protection practices in the five ASEAN countries, the following section explores some implications both for the Korean government and civil society in three aspects: for the refugee policies; for foreign policies; and for international solidarity of civil society.1) Implications for the South Korean government's refugee policiesThe cases of the five ASEAN countries highlight the importance of establishing and strengthening collaboration between central governments and local authorities for refugee protection. In the case of Thailand, while it does not have a national-level refugee status determination process, it has created ‘local reception committees’ instead and allows local governments to assess the eligibility of refugees and grant them refugee status. Similarly, the Philippines published a Memorandum Circular on Local Government Assistance for Persons of Concern (POCs)' to strengthen local government's responsibilities and autonomy in refugee protection. The example of UNHCR's campaign, #WithRefugees, which involves 13 local cities in the Philippines, demonstrates that a country can provide meaningful support for refugees when local cities and communities voluntarily and actively engage in refugee protection. Ensuring autonomy for local governments in designing and implementing refugee policies is an important first step. However, it is also worth learning a lesson from Indonesia's failure. The case suggests that simply passing the responsibility to the local government without providing adequate funds and guidelines can burden local communities and lead to failure in refugee protection. Therefore, granting autonomy to local governments while simultaneously developing guidelines to enhance awareness and mutual respect for refugees, as well as providing appropriate incentives to the host communities, can be a way to address these challenges effectively. This approach strikes a balance between the central and local governments needed for an effective response to refugee protection.Furthermore, as 2024 marks the 10th year of South Korea's resettlement pilot program, it is necessary to expand this initiative and make it a permanent policy. The country should consider enhancing its resettlement and complementary pathways, starting with refugees who have a sound understanding of Korean society and present a high willingness to resettle in the country. Since 2015, the South Korean government has resettled approximately 30 refugees annually through the resettlement pilot program. From 2015 to 2017, this program focused on resettling Myanmar refugees who were residing in refugee camps in Mae Sot, Thailand, and from 2018 onwards, it included refugees living in urban areas in Malaysia. South Korea's decision to resettle urban refugees in Malaysia is based on the assumption that urban refugees making a living in the service sector may be in a situation similar to that of the Korean labor market. Indeed, urban refugees from Malaysia have demonstrated high economic self-sufficiency. These cases highlight the importance of understanding the environments familiar to refugees in making resettlement programs. While the pilot program has been successful to some extent, it has only accommodated a small number of refugees. The government should consider expanding the program.In recent years, accepting refugees through complementary pathways has gained significant attention as an alternative solution to the limited number of resettlement opportunities. Very recently, South Korea also has tried it by bringing qualified refugee students for education. In addition, the Ministry of Justice has implemented a complementary pathway program to connect qualified refugee workers to job placement. However, similar to the resettlement program, only a few refugees have enjoyed these programs' benefits so far. In addition, the job replacement program has provided limited types of jobs, restricting refugees with skills and high education from utilizing their full capacities. It would be helpful not to treat refugees as a homogeneous group but to assess their diverse backgrounds and experiences and provide job opportunities accordingly. This more personalized and flexible approach also can help complement the limitations of current migrant labor employment policies as well.2) Implications for diplomacy and international development cooperationThe Korea-ASEAN Solidarity Initiative (KASI) is a foreign policy initiative focusing on Southeast Asia as one of the Indo-Pacific Strategies made by the new government of South Korea. Unlike the previous administration's New Southern Policy, the KASI is characterized by its emphasis on values and non-traditional security. The “values diplomacy” stresses the values of freedom and human rights, which can be extended to encompass various issues, including refugee issues. The emphasis on non-traditional security can be a basis for a comprehensive approach to refugee issues, requiring international cooperation and global governance beyond the borderland. Therefore, it is necessary to make the refugee issue one of the foreign policy agendas in the framework of value diplomacy and non-traditional security diplomacy. The East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Plus Three (APT), and other consultative bodies would be desirable for discussions related to the refugee issue in Southeast Asia.In order to alleviate the deepening refugee crisis around the world, it is vital to eliminate the root causes of refugees. Since refugees are generally more likely to originate in conflict or fragile states, it is crucial to reduce the causes of refugee outbreaks by leveraging international development cooperation programs for social stability and economic growth in conflict and fragile states. Along with this, efforts should be made to proactively accept and support refugees through policies and programs institutionalized by a cross-cutting approach and the Framework Act on International Development Cooperation and relevant degrees.In this context, the Korean government must also actively develop and expand international development cooperation programs to solve the refugee issues. Over the past decade, only a tiny percentage of the international development cooperation programs implemented by South Korea have been related to refugee issues. Recently, some donor countries have used official development assistance (ODA) programs to help the receiving countries with the massive influx of refugees. Korea should also consider utilizing ODA to raise awareness of refugee issues and establish mid-long-term strategies, including allocating in-donor refugee costs, enhancing multilateral cooperation through international organizations such as IOM and UNHCR, and strengthening organic collaboration between central and local governments.3) Implications for international solidarity of civil societyKorean civic groups began a new form of international solidarity movement in the 1990s and have focused on solidarity activities with Asian countries as a core element of international affairs since the 2000s. Protecting immigrants has been a crucial component of these activities in which refugees and asylum seekers were beneficiaries. In this context, civil society's international solidarity activities have been a significant aspect concerning refugee protection in South Korea. Despite its importance, only a small number of civil society organizations have been engaged in refugee protection activities. Among the more than 10,000 organizations registered in the government's Management Information System of the Non-Profit/ Non-Governmental Organizations (NPOs or NGOs), only 14 organizations claim to conduct refugee-related activities. Even these organizations mostly focus on assisting refugees residing in Korea but barely support refugees largely located in Southeast Asia and other areas. Considering the refugee situations in Southeast Asia, such as the increasing number of refugees, the prolonged waiting times, and the geographical importance of Southeast Asia as a stopover, more groups must work on refugees in the region. It may not be easy to increase the groups only focusing on refugee issues. However, it is more feasible for other groups to extend their coverage to include refugees in healthcare, education, environment, peace, women's, and human rights movements.Moreover, the Korean organizations working for refugees in Southeast Asia mainly have concentrated in some densely populated refugee areas such as Mae Sot in Thailand and Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh. As indicated by the trend of refugees entering Thailand but heading to Malaysia, refugees continue to move around in Southeast Asia and scatter to the various areas in the region. Therefore, Korean civil society needs to expand its geographic scope of activities in response to the refugee movement trend. Solidarity with local refugee support groups in the areas is one of the proper ways to overcome the limitations of human and financial resources. In addition, they should make efforts to find ways to leverage government financial resources. To this end, civil society organizations seeking to engage in refugee assistance activities need to clarify their identity as refugee assistance organizations and stand in solidarity with other like-minded organizations. This effort will increase the visibility of refugee protection activities, which in turn will increase the likelihood of categorizing refugee assistance as one of the government's policies of international development cooperation.It is also important for Korean civil society to note triangular cooperation in which refugee support organizations in the ASEAN countries are accustomed to working with international organizations and governments. Korean civil society organizations actively participate in the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) as part of international solidarity. However, in order to further increase the strengthening effect of solidarity, they should put an effort to encourage academia and UN organizations to be involved. In addition, they need to envision a multifaceted and comprehensive approach to refugee protection not only through legal and institutional channels, including refugee screening systems and human rights protection, but also by activating complementary pathways and collecting and evaluating refugee-related data.
A Study on Korea-India Shipping and Port Industry Cooperation
The purpose of this study is to propose cooperation measures in shipping and ports between Korea and India. To achieve this goal, we propose specific cooperation measures and policy tasks between the two countries. To this end, in..
Hyung-JIn Chun et al. Date 2023.12.29economic growth, Economic cooperationDownloadContentSummaryThe purpose of this study is to propose cooperation measures in shipping and ports between Korea and India. To achieve this goal, we propose specific cooperation measures and policy tasks between the two countries. To this end, in Chapter 2, this study identified the cooperation environment in India’s shipping and port sectors in connection with the growth of the Indian economy. In Chapter 3, it examined India’s shipping and port policies and the current status of companies. In Chapter 4, it examined India’s shipping and port policies and the current status of companies. Shipping and port logistics infrastructure was analyzed focusing on the Chennai and Kolkata regions. In addition, Chapter 5 identified the demand for cooperation between Korea and India and proposed cooperation plans in shipping, ports, and international multimodal transportation, and Chapter 6 presented cooperation plans and demonstrations in shipping, ports, and international multimodal transportation between Korea and India based on the analysis results in Chapter 5. Promotion tasks for each project and related ministries and institutions were proposed.In Chapter 2, it was discovered that India’s shipping and ports pursued policies such as modernization of ports, expansion of connectivity, port-led industrialization, and improvement of logistics efficiency under the Modi government. Due to the rapid growth of the Indian economy, shipping volume has also increased rapidly, and the role of major ports such as JNPT and Mumbai Port has increased significantly. Indian merchant ships are small, and the shipbuilding industry is small compared to the size of the economy, so containerization is insufficient. However, there is high development potential as trade diversification expands along with economic growth in the future. If the high growth trend of the Indian economy continues, the complementary relationship between Korea and India will further expand, and the possibility of using Indian shipping and ports is higher, so a foundation for cooperation is needed.In Chapter 3, it was identified that India’s shipping and port policies are shifting to respond to India’s expanded role following the reorganization of the global supply chain. The Indian government is proposing various policies focusing on improving infrastructure related to shipping logistics, and related investments are also being made. Although companies in Indian shipping ports are small, they have ample growth potential, and the use of containers is expected to increase through logistics standardization, so there is a need to explore cooperation strategies in related fields. Accordingly, there is a high possibility of participation in port redevelopment and new port development, and it is possible to participate in terminal operation in the form of a merger with related companies.Chapter 4 shows that India’s major ports have high potential in terms of their roles and competitiveness, and that ports in the three major regions are pursuing various projects and policies to strengthen port competitiveness, such as port modernization, strengthening connectivity, and strengthening internal capabilities. Three major ports, including Navasheva Port, Paradiv Port, and Chennai Port, account for most of the container cargo. Fossil fuels are mainly handled by Dindaya Port, Mumbai Port, and Paradiv Port. Ports in India’s three major regions were evaluated to have secured transportation networks for each port in response to the rapid increase in cargo volume, improved internal infrastructure, and secured logistics networks connecting roads and railroads. In India, various projects such as port modernization, connectivity enhancement, and internal capacity building are being promoted by the central government, local governments, and individual port organizations, and the construction of additional terminals is being promoted for each port. In addition, it is important to secure complex logistics bases at each major base to improve land logistics conditions.In Chapter 5, in order to specify international cooperation in the shipping and port sectors, the demand for cooperation between Korea and India was reviewed and general areas of cooperation were proposed. For this purpose, a review of existing literature, interviews with container shipping companies, expert interviews, AHP techniques, and ODA expert inverview were utilized. Summarizing the results using this methodology, the areas that should be considered priority for cooperation between the two countries are port construction and operation. Of these, container terminal construction should be considered first, followed by cooperation on new port construction and operation. must be reviewed. Next, it is necessary to expand the customs clearance agency business into areas including multimodal transportation that can provide door-to-door transportation. Meanwhile, for ODCY and ICD, there were difficulties in purchasing land, obtaining permits, and complicated procedures when entering new markets, so it was concluded that taking over the existing system was appropriate.Chapter 6 proposes cooperation measures and pilot projects in the shipping and port sectors between Korea and India based on the results of Chapter 5. In detail, the shipping market is concerned with regular container transportation and other shipping, shipbuilding, and port construction operations. Cooperation plans and pilot projects were proposed for new port construction, existing ports, port hinterland linkage infrastructure, port hinterland logistics centers, etc., and port/ rear area complex transportation, respectively, for customs clearance agency and forwarding, trucking, ODCY, and ICD. In addition, comprehensive opinions on cooperation measures and pilot projects in the shipping and port sectors between Korea and India were described, and policy tasks for each relevant ministry were proposed based on the above policy proposals. In addition, implications for the advancement of related businesses such as construction and transportation operators in transportation infrastructure such as port infrastructure, roads, and railroads were described.
Industrial Policy, Rise of Skilled Labor, and Firm Growth in the Early Stage of Economic Development
This paper examines the role of education policy in raising specific human capital for industrialization during the period of economic miracle in Korea. As part of the Heavy and Chemical Industry (HCI) drive, the Korean gov-ernmen..
Sunghun Cho et al. Date 2023.12.15economic growth, Industrial policyDownloadContentSummaryThis paper examines the role of education policy in raising specific human capital for industrialization during the period of economic miracle in Korea. As part of the Heavy and Chemical Industry (HCI) drive, the Korean gov-ernment built technical schools near industrial complexes, resulting in a prompt supply of skilled labor. With practical curricula and training, young and skilled workers were able to enter the new sector. We also document these two patterns by using the Technical School List and the Occupational Wage survey. This government-led education reform led to higher firm-level productivity and growth, which is one of the important aspects explaining the success of the industrial policy.Motivated by historical evidence, we combine the administrative Mining and Manufacturing survey with the Technical School List to study the effec-tiveness of industry-oriented education reform. We incorporate an education layer into the targeted industries under the HCI drive by exploiting the varia-tion in technical school openings at the county level.Our results show that plants in treated regions tend to employ and invest more than those in control regions, but value-added and labor productivity are negatively correlated with our interaction terms. This implies that firms in HCI sectors experienced disproportionate growth and should pay higher on-the-job costs for workers while education reform may reduce the overall cost of hiring industry-specific labor. In contrast, non-HCI sector firms ex-hibit a positive correlation with value added and labor productivity. These firms might benefit from the education reform that improved overall quality of skilled workers. Lastly, the effect of education reform was concentrated before the end of the HCI drive period and did not persist after 1980.In the era of emerging industrial policy, our paper presents a new mecha-nism that encourages more workers to enter a new sector targeted by gov-ernment-led plans. Our results serve as a starting point for re-evaluating con-temporary industrial policy and underscore the need to consider this addi-tional layer in future policy design.
Analysis on Digital Policy and Regulations: Based on the Digital Policy Alert Database
Digital policies and regulations are changing rapidly in advanced and major emerging economies. Based on the newly built Digital Policy Alert data, we found 3,876 changes in digital policies and regulations in major countries such..
Ji Hyeon Kim Date 2023.12.11E-trade, electronic commerceDownloadContentSummaryDigital policies and regulations are changing rapidly in advanced and major emerging economies. Based on the newly built Digital Policy Alert data, we found 3,876 changes in digital policies and regulations in major countries such as US, EU, China, and India. This is the result of governments’ efforts to embrace the digital age and create a fair and stable digital economy. However, we do not have an accurate understanding of digital policies and regulations’ content around the world. This report aims to provide policy implications for our government’s policy making by objectively analyzing the international trends and status of digital policies and regulations and reducing uncertainty about foreign countries.Digital trade, which is the trade of goods and services through digital means, has increased worldwide due to the development of digital technology. It can be divided into Business-to-Customer(B2C) and Business-to-Business(B2B) trade. By 2023 B2C trade is expected to reach $6 trillion and B2B trade $24.4 trillion. Asia, in particular, accounts for a large share of digital trade, accounting for more than 50% of the world’s B2C trade and on average 78% of B2B trade in 2022. Korea’s digital trade in goods is also expanding, and the proportion of its exports to China and Japan is decreasing while that to Europe is increasing.According to existing data, such as that from the OECD and EUI, the level of restrictions on digital services trade around the world is generally increasing. If we look at the regulatory environment of digital trade more broadly, there are many restrictive measures, but the level of restriction is not very high. Specifically, the level of openness in e-commerce and intellectual property rights have increased. On the other hand, the level of restriction in infrastructure and connectivity, or data is the highest. The level of restriction in other areas, which includes online advertising ban, local presence requirements, is also increasing. By region, Europe and North America have the most open regulatory environment, while Central Asia and South Asia have the most restrictive regulatory environment. East Asia-Pacific’s regulatory environment is more restrictive than the global average.By country, open economies such as Canada, US, Australia, or small countries such as Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, have lower levels of restriction on digital services trade. In contrast, relatively closed emerging economies such as Kazakhstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and India have higher levels of restriction on digital services trade. China, Russia, India have more restrictive measures on data transfer, and local data storage and processing than other major countries, and they also take discriminatory measures on communications business licenses and e-commerce. US is the most open to data transfer, while Europe and Japan transfer data conditionally.According to the Digital Policy Alert, data governance and competition account for the largest share of digital policy and regulatory changes worldwide. The main policy instruments for data governance are data protection, cybersecurity, cross-border data flows, and for competition, unilateral conduct regulation, merger review. Recently, the proportion of other business conditions, and registration and licensing have increased. Their instruments, algorithm design and technical standards for other business conditions, product or service licensing for registration and licensing have became increasingly important. In the policy area of content, changes have increased in user speech rights. In international trade, we see changes in measures such as bilateral and regional agreements and export/import bans. Foreign direct investment and tax are also changing actively.The top 10 countries with the most digital policy changes are US, EU, UK, China, India, Australia, Korea, Japan, Russia, and Canada. Their digital policy changes focus on personal information and information protection, and they also have policies for emerging industries such as AI and crypto assets. Notably, US has more regulations under discussion than adopted or implemented. China and India have relatively more data localization requirements than other countries. Russia has many content-related policy changes, while China and US are active in the registration and licensing area.Other business conditions, registration and licensing are policy areas which have recently gained attention in digital policy and regulation. Among them, algorithm design and technical standards (other business conditions), product or service authorization (licensing and registration) are mainly used as policy tools. The aforementioned top 10 countries are seeking cooperation for standardization work concerning new industries such as AI. When it comes to crypto assets, countries adopt rather opposite policies depending on their perspective.Korea’s level of regulatory restriction on digital services trade is lower than that of East Asia-Pacific, but it is higher than the global average. Korea’s digital services trade regulations are becoming more similar to Germany and less similar to China. In terms of digital policies and regulations, Korea is discussing various digital policies such as data protection, unilateral conduct regulation etc.In conclusion, first, Korea follows the international trend in terms of policy changes in areas such as data governance, other business conditions, competition, but more active discussion on content is needed. Second, international standardization discussions are actively taking place. Korea should be more strategic and base its discussion on the cooperation status of other countries. Third, considering Digital Policy Alert with other existing data will provide a comprehensive picture of digital policies and regulations. Finally, collecting digital policies and regulations by ourselves would be a first step to respond more accurately to changes in digital policy regulation.
Reforming Incentive Policies to Increase FDI in Korea’s Strategic Industries
Foreign direct investment(FDI) in Korea remains at a lower level compared to that of major countries, although the amount of FDI in Korea in 2022 on notification basis exceeded 30 billion USD for the first time in history. And maj..
June Dong Kim et al. Date 2023.12.08subsidy, Foreign direct investmentDownloadContentSummaryForeign direct investment(FDI) in Korea remains at a lower level compared to that of major countries, although the amount of FDI in Korea in 2022 on notification basis exceeded 30 billion USD for the first time in history. And major advanced countries have recently expanded investment incentives to strategic industries such as semiconductors and secondary batteries. Therefore, we need to make a landmark transformation of our FDI incentive policies. In this regard, this study first took a look at the recent trends of FDI in Korea and reviewed the incentive systems for attracting strategic investment in major countries such as the U.S., the EU, Japan, and China. And then it attempted to present policy directions for reforming incentive systems to attract strategic investment to Korea. In particular, it aimed to present the improvement of the cash incentive system as well as the use of specialized complexes for advanced industries and specialized zones for equal opportunity development.First, by looking at the recent trends of FDI into Korea (2010~2022), there are more FDI from advanced countries and tax haven countries such as U.S.A., Japan, Singapore, Malta, Netherland than from others. Also, we found more FDI in services industry than in manufacturing industry. Finally, there were more greenfield FDI than M&As.Next, we investigated recent incentive systems to attract investment in strategic industries in some key countries. These include the CHIPS and Science Act along with the Inflation Reduction Act of the U.S., and the European New Investment Strategy, InvestEU Program, and European Chips Act in the EU. We also analyzed Japan’s Direct Investment Promotion Strategy toward Japan, Promotion Act of 5G, Semiconductor Fund, and Green Innovation Fund, as well as China’s FDI expansion policy in the manufacturing sector. From this investigation, we confirmed that major countries (ⅰ) operate investment incentive systems without any discrimination between foreign and domestic firms, (ⅱ) provide large amounts of investment subsidies, and (ⅲ) have formed a social consensus that large-scale assistance is necessary to attract investment in strategic industries.Based on these characteristics in major countries, we presented the improvement of cash assistance system as well as the use of specialized complexes for cutting-edge industries and equal opportunity development special zones as policy directions for reforming incentives to attract investment in domestic strategic industries. More specifically, in the case of improving the cash subsidy system, we found that the following measures are necessary; (ⅰ) increasing the budget available for cash subsidies, (ⅱ) increasing the R&D subsidy expenditures in the aspect of software, (ⅲ) and calculating the amount for cash assistance taking into account the quality of employment, not to mention the effect of job creation. Finally, we presented a plan for linking specialized complexes for cutting-edge industries and special zones for equal opportunity development in order to provide unprecedented support for the large-scale investments in strategic industries.
Impact of Temporary Trade Barriers within APEC: Evidence from Korea
This study uses a detailed product-level data to examine the trade deflection of Korean exports as a result of antidumping (AD) duty impositions. Given that APEC economies account for a large share of Korean exports and AD duty im..
Seungrae Lee Date 2023.11.30APEC, Anti-dumping systemDownloadContentExecutive SummaryI. IntroductionII. U.S. and Chinese AD cases on KoreaⅢ. Estimation strategy and DataⅣ. Estimation ResultsV. ConclusionReferencesAppendixSummaryThis study uses a detailed product-level data to examine the trade deflection of Korean exports as a result of antidumping (AD) duty impositions. Given that APEC economies account for a large share of Korean exports and AD duty impositions on Korean exports, especially by the U.S. and China, this study focuses on the deflection of Korean export to APEC economies following the imposition of AD duties by the U.S. and China. This study finds robust evidence of Korean export deflection within APEC as a result of the imposition of AD duties by the U.S. and China. Moreover, intra-APEC trade deflection is associated with the type of products involved in the AD duty orders. U.S. AD duties have an impact on the export deflection of intermediate products, while Chinese AD duties have an impact on final products, towards APEC economies.<
Analysis on Low-carbon Policies of Major Sub-Saharan African Counties and Cooperation in Clean Energy Sector
This study analyzed the policies and current challenges in the decarbonization sector, renewable energy sector and the critical minerals sector of Sub- Saharan African(SSA) regions, as well as the market entry status and strategie..
Sungkyu Lee et al. Date 2023.11.29Economic cooperation, Energy industryDownloadContentSummaryThis study analyzed the policies and current challenges in the decarbonization sector, renewable energy sector and the critical minerals sector of Sub- Saharan African(SSA) regions, as well as the market entry status and strategies of major countries. Through such analysis, recommendations were presented at both government and corporate levels for the enhancement of cooperation in the decarbonization, renewable energy and critical minerals sectors among SSA region.At the government level, it is necessary to share policy implementation experiences and participate in multilateral decarbonization cooperative projects in each sector. At the corporate level, it is crucial to develop and implement cooperative projects that can contribute to fostering the renewable energy industry and job creation in SSA region. Furthermore, considering the elevated investment risks, it would be need to explore joint market entry with foreign companies from countries like Europe, United States, China and others that have extensive experience in market entry. In particular, in the critical minerals sector, it is necessary to expand both concessional and non-concessional support for partner countries, strengthen resource diplomacy, strategically utilize mineral security partnerships, and, in the mid-long term, increase support for credit, guarantees and insurance to facilitate the expansion of investment and market entry.
Analysis of WTO Discipline on Services Domestic Regulations and Its Policy Implications
On December 2, 2021, seventy WTO members announced the successful conclusion of the negotiations within the Joint Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation. The participants acknowledged the conclusion of negotiations on the Refe..
June Dong Kim et al. Date 2023.11.24Regulatory reform, Trade policyDownloadContentSummaryOn December 2, 2021, seventy WTO members announced the successful conclusion of the negotiations within the Joint Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation. The participants acknowledged the conclusion of negotiations on the Reference Paper on Services Domestic Regulation. As of September 2023, the participants are currently in the process of WTO certification by integrating the disciplines outlined in the Reference Paper as additional commitments in their GATS schedules. After this process is completed, these plurilateral agreements will come into effect.This study aimed to analyze the contents of each article of WTO Services Domestic Regulation, and to present standards for compatibility of domestic regulations with this discipline. Additionally, this study identified domestic best practices related to each article to present how to implement this discipline domestically. In other words, the study presented the general guidelines and detailed checking guides that each official in charge of those domestic regulations should be aware of.First, in analyzing each article of WTO Disciplines on Services Domestic Regulations, we reviewed their meanings and then identified major matters to be checked and addressed. Subsequently, we analyzed our cases for implementation of the relevant legislations.Next, we outlined the likely economic impacts based on prior research that estimated tariff equivalents of domestic regulations on services. By implementing the WTO Disciplines on Services Domestic Regulations, we can anticipate (i) an increase in consumer welfare (ii) a boost in foreign direct investment due to the improvement of domestic business environment from enhancement of transparency and predictability of domestic regulations (iii) enhanced competitiveness of domestic firms (iv) improved economy-wide productivity by employing efficient services as inputs, and (v) facilitated outbound activities of domestic firms through improved overseas business environment as a result of the implementation of these Disciplines by other WTO members.This study has policy implications as it offers comprehensive guidelines and checklists that every government ministry responsible for domestic regulations. This will prepare them for the implementation of the WTO Disciplines on Services Domestic Regulations after its certification process is complete.
Environmental Non-tariff Measures and Trade in APEC member economies
This study examines how environmental nontariff measures (NTMs) affect trade in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies. Using product-level panel data spanning 2009–2020, we find that stringent environmental NTM..
Hea-Jung Hyun Date 2023.11.20APEC, international tradeDownloadContentExecutive SummaryI. IntroductionII. Environmental NTMs and Trade Patterns in APEC RegionIII. Theoretical Background and Empirical ModelⅣ. Data and Measurement of Environmental NTMsV. Empirical ResultⅥ. Conclusion and Policy ImplicationReferencesAppendixSummaryThis study examines how environmental nontariff measures (NTMs) affect trade in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies. Using product-level panel data spanning 2009–2020, we find that stringent environmental NTMs reduce trade in APEC member economies, whereas no significant effect exists when exporting is destined to non-APEC economies. The trade-impeding effect of NTMs is prominent in exports of dirty goods from economies with high-intensity greenhouse gas emissions through additional adaptation costs to meet environmental standards set by high-income importing countries with the high-intensity imposition of the measure. Results imply that APEC economies need to enhance effective environmental regulations by taking the heterogeneous effects of NTMs on trade across industries and types of measures into account.
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