The KABC Hybrid Korea Business Forum

April 10 Election and What it Means?

8.00am – 10.00am 18 April 2024 at
the Namsan Room 5, 2F Grand Hyatt Seoul and at the Online Seminar Room (Zoom)

The Korean economy continues to be sluggish and even March exports at 3.1% YoY growth did not reach the level required if exports are to lead the nation’s economy out of the doldrums. Export growth for the first 10 days of April appears stronger.  Manufacturers lost confidence as did the consumer faced by higher prices, and only non-manufacturing businesses recorded confidence in recovery in April.

On April 10 Koreans went to the polls to elect 254 constituency representatives and 46 proportional candidates.  As we now know the vote strongly favoured the opposition giving 175 seats to the Democratic Party and affiliates and only 108 to the PPP. When the 12 proportional seats of Cho Kuk’s new party are added to the opposition side, the187 members are close to the point of 2/3 of members necessary for impeachment of the President, or overriding his veto.

On April 18 we will review the results and possible factors explaining the complexion of the 22nd National Assembly and what it means for business.  We will have had time to note the immediate responses of the winners and losers and then consider what the consequences are for policy making and law making for the rest of 2024, and indeed until the end of the present presidency. Consequently the President’s current policies must either be negotiated with the opposition, or pushed through using Presidential powers, or more likely stymied.  Further as we have seen the Prime Minister, senior members of the President’s staff and Mr Han acting leader of the PPP have all offered resignations.

Between the Presidential election of May 2022 and the present time the DP has been fairly reticient in flexing its majority muscles, but now that majority is reconfirmed by popular vote then the party is likely to be more aggressive, and its new ally the National Party under Cho Kuk is likely to be extremely vocal in attacking perceived abuses.  During the era of the clamour for the dismissal of Cho Kuk as justice minister both left and right mobilised a million citizens on the streets.

From the point of view of business in general, most of the President’s reform concerns made sense although as in the case of the medical dispute are often unnecessarily clumsy in execution.    Can the President learn to be more conciliatory about opposition to his proposals and seek compromise before protests reach the level of the current medical dispute?  His initial reaction “to humbly accept the will of the people” points in the right direction.

Our experts will propose a series of scenarios based on the result and explain the impact Ministry by Ministry and will consider the fluidity of the situation with Ahn Chul-soo reelected for the PPP calling for a resignation of the cabinet and President’s staff.

Join us on April 18 for a once in four years discussion of election results and the role of the National Assembly in the coming years which will include my four reasons why Sejong is not ready for the National Assembly to be moved from Yoido.  You will probably have attended some other discussion of the election results earlier, but ours will be unique and well worth attending.  If you are not yet a member please let us know about your intention to attend.  Every company or organization has the opportunity to try the KBF experience once for free.

Yours sincerely

Tony Michell Ph.D
Managing Director, KABC Ltd.


Published On: April 3rd, 2024 / Categories: Event, Korea Business Forum /

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