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New trade minister vows to address supply chain risks for chips, batteries

By Yonhap

Published : Jan. 11, 2024 - 10:39

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This undated file photo provided shows Trade Minister Cheong In-kyo. (Korean Security Agency of Trade and Industry) This undated file photo provided shows Trade Minister Cheong In-kyo. (Korean Security Agency of Trade and Industry)

South Korea's new trade minister said Thursday he will make efforts to address supply chain risks of the country's key export goods, including chips and batteries.

"Major countries are competitively announcing trade policies with a focus on fostering and protecting their industries amid looming protectionism around the globe," Trade Minister Cheong In-kyo said.

"Along with the lingering competition between the US and China, there are many factors that disrupt the supply chain, including the Russia-Ukraine war and the Middle East conflict, along with export and import controls," he added.

Cheong said it is necessary for the ministry to come up with a system to effectively respond to economic security policies from major countries that can potentially affect South Korea's exports of chips and batteries.

"Following the expansion of protectionism policies by each country, the global supply chain is quickly reorganizing, leading to continued technology competition in areas such as climate change, artificial intelligence and chips," he said.

"We will devise strategies to address the restructuring of the supply chain for strategic materials and cutting-edge industries, which heavily rely on imports," Cheong added.

The new trade minister also vowed to continue efforts to clinch free trade deals with more countries, including Malaysia, Mongolia and Georgia. (Yonhap)