President Moon Jae-in met with Secretary-General of the OECD Angel Gurría at Cheong Wa Dae this afternoon. The Secretary-General is currently visiting Korea to attend the 6th OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy.
President Moon and Secretary-General Gurría exchanged ideas on key pending issues, including global and Korean economic trends, inclusive growth, digital transformation and how to respond to protectionism.
Notably, President Moon expressed his intent to continue to work closely with the OECD, which is pushing for an inclusive growth initiative, while speaking about his belief that inclusive growth is vital to realizing the vision of a people-centered economy.
Noting that although OECD Economic Outlook for the world overall was bad, Secretary-General Gurría said that it indicated fairly good performances for Korea, adding that the Korean economy was projected to continue to grow: 2.7 percent this year, 2.8 percent in 2019 and 2.9 percent in 2020.
He went on to cite the negative impact that protectionism and trade disputes have had on global economic growth. He added that, in May last year, it had been estimated at 4 percent for 2019 and 2020 but has since been cut by half a percentage point to 3.5 percent.
The OECD Secretary-General pointed out that disputes between the United States and China were not confined simply to the two countries but had huge ramifications for the whole world. Saying that Korea, a trading state with open markets, must be well aware of this issue, he expressed the hope that Korea would actively raise the issue at the G20 Summit and work together with the OECD in this regard.
In reply, President Moon said, “Korea strongly supports free trade. I agree with Secretary-General Gurría’s analysis that the economy could slow down and go into a slump because free trade has declined.”
“The time has come when the quality of life is seen as more significant than economic growth and GDP. However, the common perception around the world has not caught up. I hope that the OECD will work harder to help the world recognize that improving the quality of life is a more important task,” the President went on to say.
“I am very grateful for you saying that the OECD will cooperate when complete denuclearization is achieved and the issue of sanctions against North Korea is resolved. When the opportunity arises, I will forward what you just said to the North. At any stage where the OECD can play a role, I will request assistance,” said the President.