I am currently in Myeong-dong, Seoul.
I had a lot of difficulties with Corona, but maybe it's because the new year has begun.
I can feel the excitement and hope for a new beginning on the faces of many people walking here.
Although we are gradually regaining our vigor, the future of our economy is far from bright.
It seems that the cold wave will continue for the time being, from recession to high interest rates and high prices.
First of all, Pohang Steelworks, the heart of our industry, which was flooded by a typhoon last year and barely recovered, is preparing to stand up again.
We connect reporters to the scene.
Reporter Kwanjin Kim, has the factory been restored?
Yes, I am at the 2nd hot rolling mill at POSCO Pohang Works.
You can still hear the banging now.
This is the sound coming from the rolling line behind me.
It is a work of beating and spreading a slab made of molten iron from a blast furnace.
In September of last year, three blast furnaces in the Pohang Steelworks stopped operating due to rivers flooded by a typhoon.
There was a pessimistic forecast that it would take a year to recover and a decrease in sales of more than 2 trillion won, but all employees took part in the recovery work, and the factory was restarted on the 15th of last month, about 100 days after the flood damage.
[Chief Soo-Hong Park/Pohang Works Hot Rolling Department: Motors and oil tanks are all moving (normally) the same as the heart.
I was so happy that I cried when the product came out.]
POSCO plans to complete the restoration of the Pohang Works within this month.
It's good news, but isn't the New Year's outlook for our exports looking good?
Last year, Korea's exports increased by 6.1% from a year ago, recording a record high.
However, with energy imports such as crude oil and gas soaring, and exports fluctuating in the second half of the year, we recorded a trade deficit of 47.2 billion dollars, or about 60 trillion won in our money.
It is the first deficit in 14 years and the largest deficit ever.
It is true that the outlook for exports in the new year is not bright due to the global economic slowdown and sluggish trade.
The government predicted that exports this year would decrease by 4.5% compared to last year.
It seems that the steel industry, including POSCO here, will inevitably be shocked by the introduction of the EU's carbon border tax.
In the case of semiconductors, the representative export industry, the market is expected to shrink by more than 4% this year.
The government plans to announce a tax support plan for semiconductors this week, saying that it will focus all its capabilities on expanding exports, the key engine of our economy.
(Field progress: Shin Jin-soo, video coverage: Joo Yong-jin, video editing: Kim Yun-seong)