South Korea’s Narrowing Policy Space in International Economic Cooperation


By Lee Il Houng


South Korea, with a heavily skewed economy towards trade and manufacturing, is facing difficult policy choices as the tension between the US and China, its two most important trading partners, heightens. To retain the competitiveness of its manufacturing industry, South Korea’s main long-term strategy goal should be to become a part of the group of countries with the most stable and advanced high-tech ecosystem. Yet in light of the uncertainty surrounding the evolution of the US-China tension, the pace of South Korea’s policy decisions should be monitored to avoid losing access to its existing markets and various supply chain linkages.