16th Bilateral Meeting with colleagues from South Korea
After a three-year break due to the pandemic, colleagues from the Bank of Korea and the Bundesbank met in Frankfurt in early November for what is now the 16th bilateral meeting.
The first day kicked off with an introduction to current developments at the Bundesbank, focusing on organisational changes and Strategy 2024. The Strategy 2024 roadmap will see the Bundesbank aiming to safeguard its culture of stability, strengthen its role in a European context, increase the bank’s visibility and to be forward-looking and efficient to face the challenges posed by the megatrends of digitalisation, demographics and sustainability.
This topic was followed by an overview of current economic developments from both a European and German as well as a South Korean perspective, with the two delegations exchanging views.
Participants then discussed the economic challenges faced by both countries amid the impact of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Particular attention was paid to current growth and price developments in the light of the energy supply crisis in the two countries. The Korean central bankers were also especially interested in the impact of current wage developments in Germany and Europe. The German delegation showed great interest in South Korea’s economic relations with China, trade relations with the United States and the economic policy agenda of the new government in South Korea.
Digitalisation was the main topic on the agenda the next day. It was fitting that the meeting was held at InnoWerk (the Bundesbank’s digitalisation hub). After an extensive tour of the premises, colleagues explained how InnoWerk came into being and provided an overview of the Bundesbank’s current digitalisation strategy in detail. Amongst other things, the focus was on the organisational requirements needed to make the digital transformation a success, with particular attention paid to data governance, data analytics and the use of big data. In addition, recent examples of the use of new digital technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc.) were presented. The formation of the Bundesbank’s Data Service Centre (DSC) was a topic of particular interest among the Korean delegation. Next up was a presentation of the Korean digitalisation strategy and how it is anchored at South Korea’s central bank. Both delegations concluded that they face quite similar challenges and look to the digital future of their institutions full of anticipation.
All participants stressed the importance of personal interaction and ideas already emerged on potential topics for discussion during the next meeting in Seoul in 2023.
Text and Photos: Dr. Martine Niederkorn