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Myung-hee Yoo

Former Trade Minister of South Korea (2019-2021)

Myung-hee Yoo

Residency Dates: Feb. 5-13, 2024

Public Talk

Asia's Challenges and Opportunities in a Changing Global Economic Order
Feb. 7, 2024 | Video
Former Trade Minister of Korea Myung-hee Yoo discussed the shifts in the global economic order, from rules-based to security-driven trade governance, coupled with the shift toward a net-zero society. She examined how Asia, traditionally flourishing under open, rules-based trade, can adapt to these changes, seizing opportunities to reconfigure supply chains and enhance its position in the global economy in this rapidly transforming era.


Myung-hee Yoo was the first female Trade Minister of the Republic of Korea (2019-2021). Prior to that, she served as Deputy Minister for Trade Negotiations (2018-2019) and Director General of Trade Policy (2015-2018) at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Currently, she teaches international trade and economic security issues as a visiting professor at Seoul National University’s Graduate School of International Studies. She is also a non-resident senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Yoo has dedicated most of her 30-year public service to trade initiatives, designing Korea’s trade policy and negotiating trade agreements. As Korea’s chief negotiator, she led numerous bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations, including the Korea-U.S. FTA amendment negotiations and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). During her term as trade minister, she played a pivotal role in shaping Korea’s policy on emerging trade issues such as WTO reform, global supply chains, and green and digital trade, as well as contributed to international initiatives in these areas.

She received her B.A. and MPA from Seoul National University and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School