In our final breakfast morning session of 2023 we shall be at the British Embassy. To avoid the Christmas rush we are holding this session on Thursday December 14. Our topic is the most important of the year which is an assessment of where Korea stands after CoP-28 in the global target of net zero emissions.
First we will have a quick economic update which indicates a general continuing slowdown of the Korean domestic economy while a slight recovery of exports. Despite the 7.9% YoY increase in exports for November the other monthly data released shows a decline in manufacturing and sales. Exports of US$55.8 million a month will not bring Korea back to the total for 2022. We hold to our view that Korea will obtain a GDP around 1.2% for the year and not the 1.4% forecast. To achieve the forecast of 1.8% in H2 2023, Q4 growth needs to equal 2.2% YoY, meaning that Korea would have essentially fully recovered and was growing at a rate matching BOK’s forecast for H1 2024 of 2.2%. Growth in Q3 of 1.4% was chiefly based on imports dropping faster than exports in real terms, the same is likely for Q4.
At APEC President Yoon said that Korea would be a leader in promoting preparation for climate change. In general over the last year and a half Korea has not maintained its place in the queue, with discouragement of off-shore wind and disorganization in the hydrogen market. We try to estimate what it would take if becoming the leader became national policy. We are honoured to have Dr Yoo Young-sook former MoE minister and Chair of the Korea Climate Change Centre as a guest commentator for our session. She will open our theme based on her attendance at Dubai this year.
Our discussion will partly turn on the KEPCO problem. KEPCO finally made an operating account profit after successive rate increases. But it is heavily dependent on coal and will continue to be for a number of years which makes achieving the full emission savings that the increasing sales of EVs should be making, and making it difficult for industry to go green. On the other hand Korea has signed up to the global methane reduction plan. SK group has announced a group plan to go green.
So we look forward to an interesting debate on how Korea can move its policies to do “more quicker” and help to moderate the increase in extreme weather.
Places in the embassy will be limited so make your reservation early, but unlimited for online attendance.