Event Details

Having avoided a lock-down, the Korean economy is likely to weather the corona crisis much better than its peers in the OECD countries. According to the OECD Economic Outlook published June, OECD economies are on average forecast to shrink by 9.3% year on year in 2020. The damage to the Korean economy is expected to be much smaller, only 2.5% shrinkage. Other than having avoided the lock-down, we see a number of factors contributing to the resilience. Korean financial system and its currency remains stable, unlike as in the 2 large crisis the Korean economy encountered, the Asian financial crisis in 1998 and the Lehman shock crisis in 2009. Even in exports, where it would have been quite natural to expect a disaster as the global demand for cars and TV screens go down, we see some sign of resilience. Exports of bio-healthcare has been growing rapidly, up 60% year on year as in May. While the quantity of healthcare related exports are still much smaller than Korea's traditional exports, electronics machinery and vehicles. We may be seeing a birth of a new star industry in Korea. Financial results for listed Korean companies in Q2 2020 are also expected to improve significantly compared to Q1 with chip makers driving up the rebound. Demand for Korean electronics and medical equipment has also helped airlines to stay afloat with an increase in cargo air traffic. The biggest of them, Korean Air, now expects to see profit in Q2 2020.

What has changed in the Korean financial system that led to a different outcome in the current crisis? Could the healthcare exports grow rapidly enough and could it be large enough to compensate for the inevitable sluck in car exports?

Join as we discuss the opportunities for Korean economy and business on July 21 at 8:30am-9:30am.

For participants in Seoul we would like to deliver a complimentary breakfast from Four Seasons Hotel as an option for you so that we can share our meals while having this discussion. If you'd like to accept our breakfast delivery offer, please make sure to fill in the address field of the registration form.


  • Joon-Ho Hahm (Chair of International Trade, Finance and Management Professor of International Economics and Finance at Yonsei University)

    Joon-Ho Hahm

    Chair of International Trade, Finance and Management Professor of International Economics and Finance at Yonsei University


    Professor Hahm received his graduate and doctoral degrees from Columbia University and his undergraduate degree from Seoul National University. Prior to joining Yonsei, Dr. Hahm was an assistant professor of economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a research fellow at the Korea Development Institute. His expertise lies in financial economics, money and banking, financial institutions and capital markets. Until recently he was a member of the Monetary Policy Board at the Bank of Korea. He also served as a board member for many financial institutions including the Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Woori Bank. Dr. Hahm has assumed a variety of advisory and consultative roles for the Korean government as well as international organizations including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

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  • Takuji Okubo (Director, Corporate Network, North Asia of The Economist Corporate Network)

    Takuji Okubo

    Director, Corporate Network, North Asia of The Economist Corporate Network

    Takuji Okubo is the North Asia Director of The Economist Corporate Network, managing the Networks in Japan and in South Korea.

    Prior to joining The Economist Group, Takuji was the Managing Director and Chief Economist at Japan Macro Advisors, serving global fortune 500 companies and financial institutions in Japan and abroad. In his past career, Takuji was a Chief Economist at Societe Generale, in charge of Japan and of South Korea, and a senior economist at Merrill Lynch and at Goldman Sachs. Outside his role at ECN, Takuji also serves as a non-executive director at Japan Risk Forum, an association of Chief Risk Officers among Japanese financial institutions.

    Takuji holds B.A in Economics from Tokyo University and while at the university he was a recipient of prestigious INOUE scholarship. He holds MBA from INSEAD and Msc. In Economics from UPF in Barcelona. Apart from work, he enjoys motor-cycling, scuba-diving, cooking as well as worrying about the future of the Japanese economy.

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