The KABC Hybrid Korea Business Forum

Korea in 2024

8.00am – 10.00am Wednesday 17 January 2023 at the Sansoo Room, LL Grand Hyatt Seoul and at the Online Seminar Room (Zoom)

2024 looks to be a pivotal year both on a national and a global level determining the shape of the next five or more years. In Korea we have the April elections which will decide whether the government or the opposition will control the National Assembly while globally half the planet’s population will have the opportunity to vote (although not always with a real choice) with all eyes on the US election in November.  Korea’s economic policy makers will be struggling to revive the domestic economy while globally central banks and diplomats will decide changes in interest rates, rules on trade, coexisting with AI, climate change and geopolitical security concerns which will affect us all.

Our first session in 2024 (unusually on a Wednesday) looks at the prospects for Korea, both politically in the elections of April, and economically plus Korea’s role as president of the UNSC in May.  On economic growth we will be studying both prospects for exports and the domestic economy and concluding with SK’s zero emissions corporate growth gambit demonstrated at the Las Vegas CES this January.

If I was wrong and the BOK was right, growth for 2023 will be 1.4% and technical GDP growth in 2023 Q4 will be close to 2.2% – the same as BOK’s forecast for 2024 H1.  If I am right however then the economy will already be struggling in January and reaching the 2.1% goal for the whole year will be a struggle.   December export figures were promising with chip exports increasing.  (But were the chips produced in Q4 or from the inventory crammed in warehouses from previous quarters?  I will explain why it matters.).  While the government and press constantly talk about the revival of chip exports as the key to growth, very few of the 51.78 million people in Korea benefit directly or indirectly from chip production and only a limited number from exports.  President Yoon has promised to cut back capital gains taxes, and cut an estimated 1 trillion won in tax income when Korea already failed to match income to budget in 2023 and is likely to do so again in 2024 damaging his flagship goal of reducing debt to GDP.   Composing a 2024 budget against mixed needs, falling revenue and the growing issue of falling fertility rates is going to be a major task.

We rarely talk about North Korea in KBF sessions but in 2024 the risk of accidental conflict and rising, rather than decreasing tension, become elephants in the room as geopolitical tensions are expected to increase – we will know by the 17th the results of the Taiwan elections and the consequences.  Our briefing will look at these developments from a risk analysis point of view.

This will be an active session in which everyone should voice their opinion.  We will also be handing out our draft programme for 2024 for members to vote on which subjects they prefer.  Please join us in person or online.  If you are not a member contact us for options.

Yours sincerely

Tony Michell Ph.D
Managing Director, KABC Ltd.


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    Published On: January 4th, 2024 / Categories: Event, Korea Business Forum /

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