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The Korea over the past four decades has demonstrated incredible economic growth and global integration to become a high-tech industrialized economy. In the 1960s, GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. In 2004, South Korea joined the trillion-dollar club of world economies. A system of close government and business ties, including directed credit and import restrictions, initially made this success possible. The government promoted the import of raw materials and technology at the expense of consumer goods, and encouraged savings and investment over consumption. The Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 exposed longstanding weaknesses in South Korea's development model, including high debt/equity ratios and massive short-term foreign borrowing. GDP plunged by 7% in 1998, and then recovered by 9% in 1999-2000. South Korea adopted numerous economic reforms following the crisis, including greater openness to foreign investment and imports. Growth moderated to about 4% annually between 2003 and 2007. South Korea's export focused economy was hit hard by the 2008 global economic downturn, but quickly rebounded in subsequent years, reaching over 6% growth in 2010. The US-Korea Free Trade Agreement was ratified by both governments in 2011 and went into effect in March 2012. Between 2012 and 2014, the economy experienced slow growth due to sluggish domestic consumption and investment. The administration in 2015 is likely to face the challenge of balancing heavy reliance on exports with developing domestic-oriented sectors, such as services. The South Korean economy's long-term challenges include a rapidly aging population, inflexible labor market, dominance of large conglomerates (chaebols), and the heavy reliance on exports, which comprise about half of GDP. In an effort to address the long term challenges and sustain economic growth, the current government has prioritized structural reforms, deregulation, promotion of entrepreneurship and creative industries, and the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises.

    - Purchasing power parity:$$1.781 trillion (2014 est.)
    - Official exchange rate:$1.41 trillion (2014 est.)
    - Real growth rate:3.3% (2014 est.)
    - Per capital(PPP):$35,300 (2014 est.)
    - Gross national saving:35.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
    - Composition,by sector of origin:Agriculture 2.3%, Industry 38.3%, Services 59.4% (2014 est.)
    - Composition,by end use:Household 50.4%,Government 15.1%, Investment in fixed capital29.1%
      Investment in investmentories0.1%,Exports of goods and services50.6% ,Imports of goods and
      services -45.3%(2014 est.)

Industrial production growth rate:0% (2014 est.)

Labor Force:26.27 million (2014 est.)
Labor Force-by occupation:
    - Agriculture:5.7%
    - Industry:  24%
    - Services: 70.4% (2014 est.)

Unemployment Rate:3.5% (2014 est.)
    - Revenues:$350.7 billion
    - Expenditures:$337.9 billion (2014 est.)
Budget surplus(+) or deficit(-):0.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:24.9% of GDP (2014 est.))
Inflation Rate(consumer prices):1.3% (2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate:2% (31 December 2014)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:4.5% (31 December 2014 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:$1.269 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
Current account balance:$89.22 billion (2014 est.)
Exports:$572.7 billion (2014 est.)

Imports:$525.5 billion (2014 est.)
Exchange Rate: Exchange Rates:1,053 (2014 est.).

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