In our final second chance session of 2023 season on January 3 2024 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 with 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 will have December export data and November general domestic data by the time of the second chance and you can check whether 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 required to meet this target, 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.. So we will also take a sneak preview of 2024 macro prospects which will be fully explored on January 17th at our main session for the month.
At APEC 23, 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 race, 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.
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 difficult, and making it almost impossible for industry to go green using the national grid. On the other hand Korea has signed up to the global methane reduction plan. SK group has announced a group plan to go green through conversion of SK Innovation its energy company.
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.
We welcome you to this event and to our regular January session unusually on a Wednesday this month – on January 17th