Welcome to Korea On The Record, a podcast series where we talk to key decision-makers about Korean foreign policy and their role in shaping it.

In the first episode, KF-VUB Korea Chair invites Bark Taeho, Trade Minister of the Republic of Korea (2011-13), to share his experiences in government while negotiating or implementing three key FTA’s (KORUS, EU-Korea FTA, China-Korea FTA) and his role at the WTO. (33 minutes)

– One of the main features of Korean trade policies is the multi-track approach of participating in multilateral, bilateral and regional trade discussions with the goal of securing export markets in both advanced and developing countries.

– Since the 1990’s, South Korea has succeeded in tremendously opening up its market, with the initial push coming from businesses. The trade agreements with the US, the EU and China were as much about enhancing exports as opening up the Korean market.

– Trade policies concerning high technology are becoming more regulated out of security concerns. US may be sensitive to do business with a South Korean investor if they are already doing business with a Chinese company. Likewise, Japan is also becoming more sensitive to how South Korea sources its technology. South Korean companies are approaching the EU as it has a more neutral policy stance.

Featuring: Bark Taeho (Trade Minister of the Republic of Korea, 2011-1, and current President of Lee&Ko Global Commerce Institute), Ramon Pacheco Pardo (KF-VUB Korea Chair at Institute for European Studies)