A workshop for the specialists of the working group on ‘Economy, Trade and Resources’ has taken place at the Korea–Russia Dialogue (KRD) Forum. The meeting was devoted to the ‘Measures on promoting Russia–Korea trade and investments in the post-coronavirus era’.

Lee Kyu Hyung, ex-Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Russia and Chair of the KRD Coordinating Committee on the Korean side, made opening remarks.  He noted that the pandemic set up new challenges to the global community limiting mobility and trade volume as a consequence. For this reason, Mr Lee Kyu Hyung emphasised that the meeting of the working group was very timely.

During the pandemic, we all became passengers on the train rushing to the age of the fourth industrial revolution. A new economic era is coming.

Lee Kyu Hyung, Chair of the KRD Coordinating Committee on the Korean side

Sergey Frank, Advisor to the Chairman of the Management Board of PAO NOVATEK and Chairman of the Board of Directors of SMART LNG, spoke to the workshop participants. Recently, Sergey Frank has become the Director of the working group on ‘Economy, Trade and Resources’ on the Russian side.

 

Sergey Frank underscored that he is taking up this task with great enthusiasm adding that fruitful relations with Korean partners started back in 1988 in his professional career. Since that time, many large-scale joint projects have been successfully accomplished. ‘Last year, the KRD celebrated the 10th anniversary. However, the history of the forum had started even earlier, namely, in 2008. This is the best example of a stable dialogue and cooperation during the 30 years of diplomatic relations,’ noted Sergey Frank.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to Russia Lee Sok Bae reminded that despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, out countries successfully celebrated the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations.  ‘I believe that this workshop is very important. It will sum up the results of the completed work as well as map out new horizons for further cooperation,’ said the Ambassador. In his speech, Lee Sok Bae paid special attention to cooperation in the exploration of the Arctic.

The first session was moderated by Sergey Frank and Chae Wook, Professor at Yonsei University, Director of the working group on ‘Economy, Trade and Resources’ on the Korean side.

 

Andrey Kulik, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Korea, emphasised that cooperation in the spheres of trade, economy and investment comes to the forefront amidst the shock caused by the pandemic.  The Ambassador even added that South Korea took the second place in the volume of economic cooperation after the People's Republic of China in the North-Eastern Asia.

 

At the meeting of experts, Sergei Belozerov, Professor, Head of the Department of Risk Management and Insurance at St Petersburg University, and Associate Professor Elena Sokolovskaia, Leading Research Associate in the Laboratory of Asian Economic Studies, gave a presentation on the Russia–Korea cooperation in the sphere of advance technology goods.  The scholars presented the data obtained during the analysis of external trade demonstrating a significant gap in the high technology goods trade.  ‘To bridge this gap, we have to not only develop our domestic digital economy, but also activate cooperation between the Republic of Korea and Russia is this sphere,’ noted the researchers. According to their opinion, this can be formalised in the context of implementing innovative and digital strategies, such as ‘Giga Korea’, Master Plan in Preparation for the Intelligent Information Society and the national program ‘Digital Economy of the Russian Federation’. Due to the slowdown in global economic growth, authors Sergei Belozerov and Elena Sokolovskaia suggested that new paths of cooperation within regional units should be discovered. One of the options could be forming a free trade zone on the part of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Republic of Korea.

Yeo Jong Uk, Director of the Eurasian Department of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), gave a talk about the ‘Achievements and prospects of Russia–Korea economic cooperation’. Marina Kukla, Associate Professor at the Far Eastern Federal University, made a presentation on the ‘Cooperation between the Republic of Korea and Russia in the Far East: results of the Eastern Economic Forum-2021’. Lee Sang Joon, Professor at Kunming University, spoke about the ‘New direction in the Russia–Korea economic cooperation in the post-coronavirus era’.

 

The second session was titled ‘Improving the efficiency of free trade agreements to develop trade and promote investments in the sphere of services in Russia and the Republic of Korea’. At the session, Natalia Dobriagina, Associate Professor at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), gave a presentation on ‘Authenticity and value of Korean products at the Russian market’. Gang Mun Seong, Professor at Korea University, talked about the strategy of improving the performance and efficiency of free trade agreements. Aleksandr Korolev, Associate Professor at the Higher School of Economics, spoke about the ‘Eurasian dimension: business cooperation prospects with the Eurasian Economic Union and the Republic of Korea’. Kim Deuk Kab, Professor at Yonsei University, gave a talk on the ‘Measures on improving the efficiency of free trade agreements to develop trade and promote investments in the sphere of services in Russia and the Republic of Korea’.     

 

The session was moderated by: Kim Yeung Shik, Professor at Gangneung–Wonju National University; and Elena Sokolovskaia, Associate Professor at St Petersburg University.

The following researchers took part in the discussion on the Russian side: Aleksandr Fedorovskii, Chief Research Associate at the Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) at the Russian Academy of Sciences; Kim Yeong Woong, Chief Research Associate at the Centre for Korean Studies of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Lee Han Sol, Assistant Professor at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University); Irina Korgun, Senior Research Associate at the Centre of Russian Strategy in Asia of the Institute of Economics, the Russian Academy of Sciences; Diana Madiiarova, Professor at RUDN University; and Iuliia Konovalova, Associate Professor at RUDN University. The following researchers participated in the discussion on the Korean side: Jeong Yeo Cheon, Senior Research Associate at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy; Park Ji Won, Research Asociate at the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA); Gang Myeong Gu, Research Associate at the Institute of Economic Research at the Korea Development Bank; Jo Young Kwan, Senior Research Associate at the Export-Import Bank of Korea; Kim Young Jin, Professor at Hanyang University; and Yoon Seon Hack, Professor at Korea University.