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Welcome Message

It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the 2017 BOK International Conference, in Seoul on June 1-2.

During the decade since the Global Financial Crisis, central banks, policy authorities and economists worldwide have worked hard to overcome the unprecedented crisis. Under the theme of “Global Economic and Financial Challenges: The Decade Ahead,” this year’s 13th BOK International Conference will identify the more fundamental changes that have occurred in the economic structure, while also examining the policy tasks that we may face in the future and seeking policy measures in response.

Population aging, in consequence of increasing life expectancies and decreasing birth rates, has been progressing recently in both advanced and emerging market countries. And its impacts are felt not only on the supply side, for example in the labor market and in potential growth, but on the demand side as well, in terms of consumption and investment for instance.

Meanwhile, the prolonged global economic slump and the consequent increase in unemployment have led to worsening bipolarization and labor market imbalances, and are even working to cause political and social unrest. This has brought about increased political uncertainties, as seen in the Brexit and in the emergence of trade protectionism, making it even more difficult to formulate consistent economic policies.

To cope with these problems, the carrying out of structural reforms from a medium- to long-term perspective is essential. It is difficult to achieve short-term results from structural reform. The social costs needed in the course of adjustment are also great. However, without fundamental improvements in our economic structure, we cannot create a framework for stable and sustainable growth and may face another crisis at any time.

Please note that we have a special session for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Bank of Korea, which will be devoted to discussing monetary policy and financial stability. I hope that this will help to create a basis for cooperation in research between the two organizations.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to Professor Thomas J. Sargent, for the devoted efforts that he has made as our advisor to make this conference possible.

I hope that this year’s conference will serve as a valuable forum for sharing our wisdom to prepare for the future.

  • Juyeol Lee
  • Governor
  • The Bank of Korea