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UNCTAD Director James Zhan On Korean New Deal 2.0 and Key Challenges & Opportunities for S. Korea Updated: 2021-07-14 17:23:47 KST

A UN agency dealing with trade, investment, and development just last week made adjustments to South Korea's grouping moving it from Asia and developing economies to the developed economies list by the UN Conference on Trade and Development or UNCTAD.
It's no surprise that the world's tenth largest economy is now grouped with other developed economies of the world especially as the country marks one year since its launch of the Korean New Deal today - an initiative for inclusive, green recovery that focuses on renewable energy, green jobs, and ensures social protection for the most vulnerable.
South Korea - building new success on old success. I want to bring in James Zhan, Director of Investment and Enterprise at UNCTAD. James joinsus live from Geneva.

Board members of UNCTAD made an unanimous decision last week to upgrade South Korea from a developing economy to a developed economy.
First of all, how does UNCTAD classify member nations? On what basis do you categorize countries into four groups?

South Korea is the world's tenth largest economy. It's a member of the 37-country OECD. It's met the economic indices to be classified as a 'developed' economy for years now. Why the reclassification now and what are the implications for South Korea now that it's part of Group B?

So, it's time for South Korea to build success on old success moving forward. In that light, the South Korean government today unveiled its Korean New Deal 2.0 - an upgraded version of its Korean New Deal that was launched one year ago today. It includes upping investments in the Korean New Deal projects by roughly 50 billion U.S. dollars to 191 billion by 2025 with key focus on digital and green projects while expanding childcare support and help young, low-income earners acquire assets.
This sort of New Deal isn't exclusive to South Korea, of course. In fact, all the major goals have become universal goals among developed economies. What's your assessment of Korean New Deal 2.0? How does it compare with that of other economies?

So, the Korean New Deal 2.0, in line with the global trend, in a nutshell, could perhaps be summed up as driving a green and digital recovery and social resilience. It looks very nice on paper, but do you see any shortfalls or room for improvement?

The pandemic has highlighted vulnerabilities in global supply chains and in productive capabilities which has prompted governments to consider what needs to be done for post-pandemic recovery and resilience. Looking forward, what are some of the key challenges and opportunities for South Korea in investment in global supply chain in the decades ahead?

James Zhan, Director of Investment and Enterprise at UNCTAD for us tonight. Thank you, James, for your time and insigts. We appreciate it.
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