Minister of Finance and Economy Minister Hong Nam-ki (right) on Sept. 9 shakes hands with Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman at a conference in Seoul on sharing the results of the government-run Knowledge Sharing Program of Korea. (Ministry of Economy and Finance)

Minister of Finance and Economy Minister Hong Nam-ki (right) on Sept. 9 shakes hands with Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman at a conference in Seoul on sharing the results of the government-run Knowledge Sharing Program of Korea. (Ministry of Economy and Finance)

By Min Yea-Ji and Lee Jihae

Japan’s economic sanctions on Korea and the ensuing bilateral conflict are exacerbating uncertainty over the world economy, American economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman said on Sept. 9 in Seoul.

Now a distinguished professor of economics at City University of New York’s Graduate Center, Krugman was speaking at an international conference hosted by the Ministry of Finance and Economy on sharing the results of the government-run Knowledge Sharing Program. Both he and Minister Hong Nam-ki discussed their views on the Korean and international economies.

Hong said, “The outlook for next year’s world economy and Japan’s economic retaliation against Korea have exacerbated uncertainty over the Korean economy,” adding, “There is much concern that these (two factors) could weaken the global economy’s global value chain.”

Krugman said that though he believes a recession will not occur next year, the world economy will face a trade slowdown, adding that Korea-Japan tensions have started to gain international attention and have clearly worsened uncertainty over the global economy.

Winning the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences in 2008, the professor also warned over the growing expansion of trade protectionism, saying inter-country cooperation has led to the sharing of information and technology, which in turn has served as the cornerstone for hyper-globalization.

Amid the global economic uncertainty due to the trade dispute between the U.S. and China, he urged the world to stay on the globalization path and actively share information and cooperation in various sectors.

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