French Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) President David-Pierre Jalicon speaks during a recent event in Seoul. He advises that South Korea is required to diversify its trade partners. Photo courtesy of FKCCI

David-Pierre Jalicon shows strategy to survive the conflicts of G2

The trade-focused economy of South Korea may struggle due to the lingering conflicts between the United States and China, otherwise dubbed the G2.

The dilemma is that Korea cannot unilaterally side with one because China is the country’s top trade partner while the U.S. is its No. 2 partner.

Against this backdrop, French Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) President David-Pierre Jalicon advised that the country should diversify its trade partners.

“Multilateral initiatives are especially important during an era dominated by the G2,” Jalicon said in a recent interview in time with the Bastille Day on July 14.

“Korea is highly dependent on China and the U.S. in both import and export, and due to ongoing geopolitical tensions, I think that it is in Korea’s best interest to diversify its trading partners with European countries in order to reduce dependence on the superpower.”

In 2019, trades between the two countries hit record highs; Korea shipped products worth $4.7 billion to France. The latter’s exports to the former amounted to $5.8 billion.

Jalicon also encouraged Korean companies to make more investments in France, which he says is full of advantages for exporters to Europe and Africa.

“France’s geographical location and quality infrastructure make it a strategic redistribution hub for exporting to Europe and Africa for many foreign companies,” he said.

“Commercial ports in the Mediterranean concentrate traffic flows between Europe, Mediterranean countries, North Africa, and the Middle East. Korean investors can benefit as well from France’s advanced infrastructure and human resources regarding innovation and R&D.”

He added that France is Africa’s largest European trade partner and a logistics hub that attracts foreign companies wishing to access the African market.

“Korean investments in France mainly concern information technology, communications, and property acquisition in the Parisian region, and there are 25 Korean conglomerates present in France,” he said.

See the full text at the Korea News Plus article on July 20. _ ED.