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Finance Chief Warns of Growing Global Protectionism

Posted October. 16, 2010 10:58,   


Strategy and Finance Minister Yoon Jeung-hyun warned Friday that global currency friction is intensifying and showing signs of escalating into economic protectionism as countries rely more on exports for economic recovery and job creation.

At a government economic strategy meeting, he said uncertainty is lingering in the global economy due to delayed recovery in advanced economies, the threat of a prolonged fiscal crisis in Europe, and higher currency volatility.

As the Doha Development Agenda negotiations are undergoing rough sailing, he spoke of increased activity to use free trade agreements to expand exports. In particular, he said the U.S. and Japan have broken out of their passivity and are aggressively seeking free trade deals with emerging economies.

Washington is negotiating with countries in the Asia-Pacific basin for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, in which Tokyo is positively considering participating.

Yoon said that despite the difficult external conditions, Korea should firmly respond to protectionist moves as the chair country of the Group of 20 summit in Seoul next month. He also urged expansion of economic growth engines through active advances to overseas markets and strategic opening of the Korean market.

He said Seoul in November 2008 led the introduction of a principle banning new trade barriers at the G20 summit in Washington.