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German business leaders discuss Korea’s economic outlook

Aug. 27, 2015 - 17:43 By 손지영
More than 100 German business leaders and officials came together in Seoul on Thursday to discuss and share insights on South Korea’s economic trends and outlook for this year. 

At the Half-Year Economy Outlook 2015 conference hosted by the Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, German business executives highlighted key downward trends in Korea’s economy as well as industries forecast to grow in the near future.

The German officials cited the slowdown in exports as the biggest future challenge faced by the Korean economy, noting that a significant drop in exports during the first half of this year have in turn led to sluggish growth in gross domestic product.

The economic slowdown in China, which accounts for 25 percent of Korea’s exports, has led the KOSPI to retreat to a two-year low, while foreign direct investment rates are set to further decrease and low consumer confidence threatens economic recovery, the KGCCI said.


Despite such challenges, German business leaders expected continued growth in the energy industry and display sectors, thanks to established business overseas and ongoing technological advancements.

Korean energy firms are “key players in the industrial plants business in the Middle East and Asia,” said CEO and president of Siemens Energy Rochus Bergmann, adding that “new orders for these region’s oil and gas industry, though not as strong as before, still amount to almost $47 billion.”

Merck Korea’s managing director Michael Grund said Korea, a leader in the display business, must work to retain a technological gap with fast-growing tech firms in China and other Asian countries, forecasting significant possibilities for the organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, industry in the future.

By Sohn Ji-young (