Asia Economy Daily 10/24

Jay Kim gave a lecture, “I do not give up hope,” as the 87th HUNET Lecture at the KFOST International Convention Center on October 19.

During the lecture, Kim claimed that the Korea-U.S. FTA was not a zero-sum game, and urged that people should not be afraid of the free trade agreement.

He pointed out that the markets of various service industries such as finance, insurance, real estate, law, etc., would be open, but claimed that people should not be afraid of the U.S. service industries beforehand and that in the open legal market, for example, Korean lawyers may turn out to be more competitive than U.S. lawyers from rural areas.

He expected that the Korean agricultural industry could face the most challenges from the FTA, pointing out the cheap price of Californian rice and the fatal effect that it would have without the tariff.

However, he emphasized that it should be taken into consideration that the U.S. gave up the shipbuilding market which is 50 times as big as the rice market.

He also advised that this crisis could be overcome by changing rice-oriented agriculture into more competitive crops such as apples and pears.