Korea urged to strengthen its own technology amid US-China trade war

Yeon Won-ho, associate researcher at the KIEP, speaks during an online conference. (KCCI’s YouTube channel)

South Korea needs to focus on strengthening its technical competence as the trade war between the US and China and tech decoupling continues, an economic researcher warned Friday.

Speaking at an online conference entitled “Next Trend,” associate researcher Yeon Won-ho at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy said it is hard for South Korean businesses to benefit from the sanctions between the US and China as both countries are focusing on building their domestic industries.

“Sandwiched between the US and China, South Korean companies could lose on both sides and end up being ostracized,” the researcher warned during the event hosted by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Instead of relying on the world’s two largest economies, Yeon said Korean businesses must foster their own technology to survive in the changing dynamics of international business.

He also played down the prospect of improving US-China relations under president-elect Joe Biden, citing “growing skepticism in the Biden administration over the fairness of China,” “China’s strong response to US sanctions” and the “growing anti-China sentiment that crosses party lines in the US, which is resulting in legal measures against the country.”

“There won’t be a major change to the dynamics of the US-China conflict (under the Biden administration),” he said.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)