Special Lecture by RHEE Changyong (IMF), 2020
2020 Global and Asian Economic Outlook

2020.01.15 15:00 - 17:00

On January 15, 2020, the Chey Institute for Advanced Studies invited Changyong Rhee, director of the Asia and Pacific department at the IMF, to present a special lecture titled ‘2020 Global and Asian Economic Outlook’. An economic expert and recipient of the KFAS international scholarship, director Rhee Changyong last spoke at the KFAS conference hall 4 years ago, giving a special lecture titled ‘Key Economic Challenges in Asia: A Focus on China’. This time around, director Rhee provided valuable insight on the economic outlook of 2020, based on analysis of the 2019 global economy.

First, director Rhee presented the audience with an overall view of global economic trends in 2019. Director Rhee pointed out how the global economy began to fall since late 2018, due to rising uncertainty triggered by the advent of the US-China trade conflict and an undecided Brexit. At the back of this economic decline, director Rhee defines the world was in ‘synchronized slowdown’ during 2019. While it was not a recession per se, economic decline was a universal phenomenon seen in all nations, despite global practice of relaxed fiscal policy.

Director Rhee mentions that we should expect an economic ‘bottom up’ in the near future. The continuum of low interest rates, gradual increase of the automobile market, and the ‘US-China phase 1 deal’ are all indicators contributing to an optimistic 2020 outlook. However, director Rhee also says we must be cautious. Geopolitical issues, practice of managed trade between the US and China, side effects of prolonged low interest rate conditions, and stressed economies are all factors that raise economic uncertainty for the year to come.

Finally, director Rhee provided an economic outlook for major economic actors, such as the US, Europe, China, India, Japan, and South Korea. The US is expected to show a robust economy in 2020. Europe and Japan will continue to embrace low-interest rate conditions. China’s growth rate will depend on the extensiveness of its reflationary measures. Director Rhee showed the most concern for India, which showed an unexpected economic at the end of 2019. Just before wrapping up, director Rhee focused on how South Korea’s structural problems are causing economic difficulties for both workers and corporations, emphasizing the role of government engaged as an active mediator.

RHEE Changyong, SUNG Taeyoon

Lectures and Topics

  • Speaker: RHEE Changyong, Asia and Pacific Department, IMF


  • Panelist: SUNG Taeyoon, School of Economics, Yonsei University