The Korea Herald


Yoon nominates new industry minister

By Jung Min-kyung

Published : Dec. 17, 2023 - 18:03

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Ahn Duk-geun, minister of trade, industry and energy nominee Ahn Duk-geun, minister of trade, industry and energy nominee

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Sunday tapped current Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun as the nominee to head the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The 55-year-old expert in international economy and trade started serving as the Yoon administration’s first trade minister from May last year.

This promotion would put him at an actual ministerial-level position, compared to his previous role, which was technically a vice-ministerial level position.

“Ahn is a global trade expert backed by both knowledge and hands-on experience,” Kim Dae-ki, presidential chief of staff, announced in a press briefing held earlier in the day.

"Based on the candidate's proven ability to carry out tasks and his rich network, Ahn is expected to lead the expansion of Korea's economic power by swiftly promoting export-oriented and core strategic industries and innovation in industrial regulations to revitalize our economy," he added.

Ahn has served as a professor of international trade law at Seoul National University’s Graduate School of International Studies since 2005.

He earned his bachelor's degree in international economics at SNU in 1990, and then got his doctoral degree in economics at the University of Michigan in 1996.

Ahn taught at the state-run Korea Development Institute's School of Public Policy and Management from 2000 to 2005. He also led the school's information technology center and trade strategy center.

Ahn's appointment comes just three months after current Industry Minister Bang Moon-kyu assumed the post in September. Bang is projected to step down to run in the general election next year.