Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Chairman Chey Tae-won speaks during a press conference at a restaurant in Seoul, Thursday. Courtesy of KCCI

Any outcome of the upcoming U.S. election will “never undermine the bilateral business foundations” between Korea and the world’s largest economy, Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Chairman Chey Tae-won told reporters, Thursday.“The upcoming U.S. election holds major importance, but it will not disrupt the fundamental foundation between the two countries,” Chey said during a press conference. “Even if a potential president-elect has a strong desire to implement policy changes in specific industries, it would be extremely challenging for him to do so without the support of Congress. We can also voice our concerns during this process.”The remark came amid growing concerns over the potential reelection of former U.S. President Donald Trump, who has threatened to impose higher tariffs on non-American carmakers and reduce incentives or benefits for Korean battery firms.But Chey underscored the importance of not being swayed by any aggressive political rhetoric from candidates there.“We should not fluctuate between hopes and fears simply due to such rhetoric,” Chey said. “Of greater significance is to seek a longer-term partnership with the U.S. by continuously holding dialogue with the country. It is desirable for us to resolve any potential business conundrums through that approach.” The KCCI chief also takes on a dual role as chairman of SK Group, the nation’s second-largest conglomerate by market capitalization.

He said the chip industry will continue to be on a rollercoaster ride in the future, as was shown by the earnings fluctuation at SK hynix over the past few years.The cash-cow chipmaker of SK Group surprised the market with an operating profit of 2.88 trillion won ($205 million) in the first quarter, a major turnaround from the previous year’s operating loss of 3.4 trillion won, on robust sales of high bandwidth memory (HBM) chips.Many market insiders paint a rosy outlook ahead for the chip affiliate of SK Group on its robust position in the global HBM industry.But Chey remained cautious over the outlook for the chip industry.“Demand for chips soared to an excessive level during the pandemic era, but the excess demand weakened last year,” he said. “A consumption slowdown also cast a negative impact on the market circumstance during the period.“My view, however, is that the current boom will not last long. The rollercoaster ride that we experienced in recent years will continue down the road.”He remained optimistic about the future of the battery industry, even if the group’s battery arm was hit hard by slowed growth in the global electric vehicle (EV) market.SK On reported the biggest operating loss of 331.5 billion won in the first quarter among three major EV battery manufacturers here.But Chey argued the industry will overcome the difficulties eventually.“The EV industry is entering a challenging phase, and businesses related to batteries and relevant materials are facing supply chain difficulties as a result,” he said. But this is just a transition period, so the ongoing challenges will not persist for a long period of time, according to the chairman.“The battery industry will be able to achieve sustainable 스포츠토토존 growth in the end,” Chey said.

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