South Korea’s Finance Minister Meets U.S. and Chinese Counterparts to Discuss Economic Relations

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Yonhap News

SEOUL, July 18 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho had meetings with his U.S. and Chinese counterparts in India to discuss ways to strengthen economic cooperation between the respective nations, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance on Tuesday.

South Korean Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho (R) poses for a photo with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen as they meet on the sidelines of a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 major economies in Gandhinagar, India, on July 17, 2023, in this photo provided by Choo's office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

During his talks with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Choo expressed the concerns of South Korean businesses over the U.S.’ Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Chips and Science Act. Choo asked Yellen to continue to take note of related issues, even though he was thankful for Washington’s continued effort in consultations on the issues.

The IRA provides tax credits of up to US$7,500 to each buyer of a new electric vehicle manufactured in North America and with batteries made of a certain amount of critical minerals produced in the region, causing worries of discrimination against foreign manufacturers.

Under the Chips Act, foreign chipmakers can receive subsidies totaling US$52.7 billion and tax incentives for setting up production facilities in the U.S., though the act comes with certain conditions.

The two sides also discussed Yellen’s recent trip to China, the ministry said, without going into details. Earlier this month, Yellen made a four-day visit to China in an attempt to stabilize their relations amid the escalating rivalry of the world’s two biggest economies.

“Speaking of the improvement in the relations between Seoul and Tokyo, Choo said the recent thaw will contribute to the expansion of the trilateral economic cooperation among South Korea, the U.S. and Japan,” the ministry said in a release.

“The two sides also agreed to continue consultations with the U.S. regarding sanctions against Russia,” it added.

South Korean Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho (L) poses for a photo with Chinese Finance Minister Liu Kun as they meet on the sidelines of a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 major economies in Gandhinagar, India, on July 17, 2023, in this photo provided by Choo's office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

With his Chinese counterpart, Choo discussed ways to collaborate on supply chains, personnel exchanges and other matters of mutual interest, the ministry said. It was the first in-person meeting between top finance officials of the two nations since 2019.

Choo emphasized that South Korea and China are essential partners in terms of trade and investment and expressed his hope for maintaining “mature” economic relations “based on mutual respect, reciprocity and shared interests,” the ministry said in a release. Choo also proposed the expansion of communication and cooperation via different channels between the two sides, the ministry said.

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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