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Lakhvinder Singh & Ji Woo Chung

Stories from Lakhvinder Singh & Ji Woo Chung

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As Far As the Potentials Go, It Will Be Huge.

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

Sunjoy Joshi is Chairman of the Observer Foundation (ORF), New Delhi and its Chief Executive. As a former member of the Indian Administrative Service he has had a long experience in development and economic policies of the government of India.
Recently he visited Korea to attend an international conference organised by the National Diplomatic Academy of Korea.
Here are the excerpts of the interview he had with Biz Tech Report while in Seoul.

1. Question: Welcome to Korea. What brings you to Korea this time?
Answer: We came here to attend an international conference hosted by the Korean National Diplomatic Academy on July 3, 2018. Conference was focused on President Moon Jae-in's new southern policy and his new initiatives on ASEAN countries and India.

2. Question: How do you see the international conference hosted by the National Diplomatic Academy on July 3, 2018 regarding the Korean government's new southern policy on ASEAN countries and India?


Answer: All participants readily recognized the rise of ASEAN countries and India, and noted that the fluid situation of global politics made it all the more necessary to work together because of the changing security architectures of the world. We are living in the world which is very uncertain today. The North Atlantic Alliance had been the most prominent features of international politics following the end of World War II. Many would admit today that the Atlantic Consensus has broken down. While that does seem to be the case I do not think Trump is the reason for the breaking down of the Atlantic Consensus. Trump may be a symptom but he is far from being the cause. In my opinion the Atlantic Consensus had frayed well before Trump. It was frayed by two seminal events of the 21st century.
The First event was 9/11 and the consequential War on Terror launched by the coalition of the willing without any multilateral sanction. With the War on Terror in the aftermath of 9/11 multilateralism was laid to rest in the debris of the twin towers. The second event was the financial crisis of 2008 following which the Holy Grail of globalization and free trade and globalization began to be questioned in the very Atlantic capitals that had promoted these ideals in the first place.
The breakdown of the Atlantic consensus necessitates that Asian countries be prepared to take their destiny into their own hands and start conversations about their common concerns and goals. The most important factor for emerging countries is going to be to ensure economic development that leads to inclusive growth in the face of disruptive technologies that have accelerated the pace of transformation stupendously.

3. Question: What was your main message in the conference?A

Everyone is talking about Indo-Pacific. However, Indo-Pacific means different things to different countries around the world and must be seen in a context that is larger than the immediate tactical concerns of the main protagonists. The Atlantic perspective always segregated the South Asian and South East Asian parts of the world treating them as if they were two different universes. This, in spite of their centuries old linkages of culture and trade. Following their lead, strategic discourse tended to do the same. Not just governments and strategic commands, but even universities, academics, and think tanks tend to have separate South Asian and South East specialists. 

The Indo-Pacific does not end at the Bay of Bengal. It must be understood first in the context of its heterogeneous diversity and as a much larger construct. It must be seen as the bridge between the Pacific and the Atlantic that serves to integrate the land mass of Afro-Eurasia into one, and not three continents.
A rising Asia is correcting that anomaly in strategic thinking. Countries within the region and without have moved to this wider notion of the Indo-Pacific. Countries like Japan and Korea also are now thinking in terms of strategic role with like-minded nations in a much wider arena so as to enforce a rules based multi-lateral order.


“Korenter” is the Way Forward

Monday, July 2nd, 2018


As Korea is trying to adjust to the emerging economic situation in the world, many new innovative ideas are being suggested by Korean intellectuals and leaders. One such idea is “korenter”, emphasizing complete Korean economic integration with regional and world economies, which is propagated by Dr. Yoo Jang-Hee, Korea’s top most leading strategic economic thinker. Quite opposite to what is currently happening in Europe where more countries are opting out of the European Union, Dr. Yoo Jang-Hee is advocating rather Korea should enter the world economy more strongly.

 Currently Dr. Yoo Jang-Hee is an emeritus professor at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. Following his undergraduate work in economics at Seoul National University, he earned his M.A in economics at UCLA, and received his Ph.D. from the Department of Economics at Texas A&M University., He also served the Korean government in various positions, including President of Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), Vice Chairman of Presidential Council of Economic Advisors, Chairman of the National Commission for Corporate Partnership to name only a few.

 Recently Biz Tech Report had the chance to sit with Dr. Yoo Jang-Hee in his office in downtown Seoul and explore his views on the current global economic situation and options left for Korea to cope with the fast-changing regional and international economic environment.

  Here are the excerpts of the interview. 

Q1: How do you see the prevailing current economic situation in the world?

Prof. Yoo: The current economic situation in the world is very capricious.  A lot is happening within a short period of time. In this fluid situation countries are trying to protect their economic interests by imposing safeguards and increasing trade tariffs. But this is wrong. All trade disputes must go through the WTO even though it takes a longer time. It is a mechanism that the whole world created to avoid any unfair situations and to restrict the powerful counties from dominating the whole world trading system in a wrong way.

 Q2: Is multilateralism dead? Or is there still some hope left?

Prof. Yoo: In the short run, the multilateralism is going to be on the verge of facing strong attack from the big powers. In the long run however, the whole world is not that patient to live with this anti-multilateralism or power-oriented order of the world trading system, because the whole world has already experienced a better way through which it was able to grow faster. Before WWII, protectionism and nationalism were on top; but because of recognition of the disorder of international trade, 23 major trading countries came together to establish the order of world trade and adopt the GATT in 1947. Since then in 70 years, in a long-term trend, the whole world has been moving toward free trade and multilateralism. So there is still hope left. In the short run, the multilateralism is under attack and may be at a crisis. But in the near future, the whole world is wise enough to come back to the free trade and multilateralism.


Busan Metropolitan City Mayoral Candidate Mr. Oh Geo-don

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

It is election time in Korea. The campaigns for gubernatorial, mayoral and local council elections, as well as by-elections for 12 parliamentary seats to be held on June 13, are set to start on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

The ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) party is expected to sweep the elections. Its candidates for 2,280 public servant posts, including 17 mayors and governors, and 17 education superintendents will be campaigning tirelessly in the next few days.

All parties are wooing voters with pledges and slogans. The ruling DPKis expecting to reap the fruits of recent North Korea peace overtures with its slogan, "Peace and the Economy." DPK expects big win over its main opposition, Liberty Korea Party (LKP) nation-wide.

According to recent reports, the Democratic mayoral candidate in Busan, Mr. Oh Geo-don, is leading in approval ratings against the conservative main opposition, LKP.

The pre-election polls show Oh Geo-don with a 50.5% approval rating against 20.4% LKP’s Such Byung-soo, the current mayor of Busan.

Recently the Asia Pacific Business and Technology Report attended events organized by Oh Geo-don’s campaign. Below are excerpts of the conversations.


Q1. What was the main purpose of yesterday's event held by the Real Estate Policy Committee?
- On June 4, around 300 people gathered in down town Busan to pledge support for our election campaign. The Real Estate Policy Committee has been serving in various parts of Busan for quite some time. Recently it acquired nationally recognized certification as a certified real estate agency. Although there are 7,750 real estate brokerage offices operating in Busan, the market has been getting sluggish and the new opportunities are closing. Of the 10,000 members in the Busan area, the 300 vice chairmen of the 23 committees under the Real Estate Policy Committee gathered and declared their support our polices and agenda.


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