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Monday, January 22, 2018

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The ratio of crude oil that South Korea’s imports from the Middle fell to 74.6% in October last year and to a 10-year low of 72.9% in November.

Less Dependence in Middle East

22 January 2018 - 10:15am
Jung Suk-yee

It has been found that South Korea imported 837.391 million barrels of crude oil from the Middle East for the first 11 months of last year. During the period, the country imported 1,018.316 million barrels of crude oil in total and the ratio of crude oil imports from the Middle East amounted to 82.2%.

The ratio exceeded 80% each month for the first nine months of 2017. However, the ratio fell to 74.6% in October and to a 10-year low of 72.9% in November. During the same period, South Korea’s crude oil imports from the Middle East stood at 69.4 million and 69.01 million barrels,...

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South Korea was the second largest importer of US liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world last year.

2nd Largest Importer of US LNG

22 January 2018 - 10:00am
Jung Suk-yee

It has been found that South Korea was the second largest importer of US liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world last year.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on January 21 that Korea imported 88.2 billion cubic feet of LNG (about 1.99 million tons) from the United States last year (January-October).

Last year, the country that imported the largest amount of US LNG was Mexico with 126 billion cubic feet. Korea came in second with its import volume skyrocketing 773% year on year last year. The surge in imports is attributable to the fact that KOGAS began...

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Seoul moved up one notch from the previous year to become the third most expensive city in the Asia-Pacific region behind Tokyo (eighth) and Hong Kong (ninth).

Expensive City for Foreigners

22 January 2018 - 9:30am
Jung Suk-yee

According to consulting firm ECA International, Seoul ranked 11th among 262 cities around the world last year in terms of cost of living required for foreigners. Seoul moved up one notch from the previous year to become the third most expensive city in the Asia-Pacific region behind Tokyo (eighth) and Hong Kong (ninth). In 2016, Seoul had ranked sixth in the same region.

Tokyo remained the most expensive city for foreigners in the region for two years in a row. Hong Kong jumped from fifth to second. Shanghai and Beijing moved up three notches each and ranked fourth and fifth,...

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The Korean government applied to the WTO for retaliatory action against imposition of unfair anti-dumping tariffs on South Korean washing machines by the United States.

Application for Retaliatory Tariffs

15 January 2018 - 9:15am
Jung Suk-yee

The Korean trade ministry announced on January 14 that it had applied to the WTO for retaliatory action against imposition of unfair anti-dumping tariffs on South Korean washing machines by the United States.

Back in February 2013, the United States imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on washing machines Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics exported from South Korea. The tariff rates were 9.29% and 13.2%, respectively. In response, the South Korean government filed a suit with the WTO in August 2013. The South Korean government won the case in September 2016.

...

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South Korea tries to get an associate membership in the Pacific Alliance, which is similar in effect to a free trade agreement (FTA) with Mexico.

To Be Pacific Alliance Member

12 January 2018 - 10:00am
Jung Suk-yee

The Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy of Korea announced on January 11 that it would hold a public hearing at the COEX Convention Center in Seoul at 10:00 a.m., January 12 with regard to South Korea’s accession to the Pacific Alliance as an associate member.

The Pacific Alliance, consisting of Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia, is currently having talks with Australia, Singapore, Canada and New Zealand concerning their associate memberships. The talks started in June last year and are expected to be completed in July this year. Similar talks with other countries are likely to...

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Seoul and Pyongyang held a high-level meeting on January 9, led by Minister of Unification Cho Myoung-gyon (left in the front row) and Ri Son-gwon, Chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.

Inter-Korea Talks Started

10 January 2018 - 10:30am
Jung Suk-yee

South Korea and North Korea held a high-level meeting at the Panmunjom on January 9. At the meeting, North Korea said that it would send a large team to the 2018 Winter Olympics and the team would include not only players but also reporters, visitors, Taekwondo performers and so on. South Korea proposed a joint parade at the opening ceremony and North Korea did not refuse.

Minister of Unification Cho Myoung-gyon, who represented the South Korean side at the meeting, proposed military talks for the prevention of accidental clashes and a Red Cross conference for family reunion,...

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Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority, visited South Korea as a special envoy and met with Chief Presidential Secretary Lim Jong-seok.

Conflicts Solved?

10 January 2018 - 9:30am
Jung Suk-yee

Chief Presidential Secretary Lim Jong-seok and Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority, met with each other in Seoul on January 9. 

According to them, South Korea and the UAE are going to communicate more with each other, for even closer bilateral relations, by means of diplomatic and national security meetings as well as economic ministerial meetings and those between special envoys.

Al Mubarak expressed his interest in South Korea’s alternative energy and solar power generation technology as well as nuclear power plants and...

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South Korean Director General for KORUS FTA Negotiations Yoo Myung-hee arrived at the Washington Dulles International Airport on January 4 (local time).

Negotiations Kicked Off

9 January 2018 - 9:45am
Jung Suk-yee

The Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy announced that the first round of negotiation for KORUS FTA revision took place for hours on January 5 at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Director-General Yoo Myung-hee led the South Korean side in the negotiation with the U.S. side headed by Michael Beeman, Assistant USTR for Japan, Korea, and APEC.

Their opinions clashed in the first round. The U.S. demanded elimination of non-tariff barriers with regard to automobiles and stricter rules of origin when it comes to automobiles and steel while mentioning...

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The production capacity expansion of major NAND Flash manufacturers is expected to result in a possible oversupply in the NAND Flash market in 2019.

‘Chicken Game’ Expected

5 January 2018 - 10:45am
Jung Suk-yee

An industry analyst is forecasting that a chicken game in the NAND Flash market will begin in earnest from 2019.

According to DRAMeXchange and industry sources on January 4, the production capacity expansion of major NAND Flash manufacturers, such as Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, Toshiba, Intel, and Yangtze Memory Technologies Corporation (YMTC), a subsidiary of China’s Tsinghua Unigroup, will have increasing impacts on the industry, resulting in a possible oversupply in the NAND Flash market in 2019.

In this regard, Toshiba announced its Fab 7 construction...

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Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Korea hit an all-time high of US$22.94 billion in 2017. .

Foreign Investment

4 January 2018 - 11:30am
Jung Suk-yee

Last year, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Korea hit an all-time high of US$22.94 billion. The FDI exceeded US$20 billion for the third consecutive year.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) said on January 3 that foreign direct investment (FDI) in Korea ran to US$22.94 billion last year, up 7.7% from the previous year.

In the first three quarters of last year, the figure dipped 9.7% compared to the same quarter of the previous year. However, it turned to a rise by chalking up a record high of US$9.36 billion in the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, FDI...

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