Economy of South Korea
The economy of South Korea is the fourth largest economy in Asia and the 11th largest in the world. It is a mixed economy dominated by family-owned conglomerates called chaebols, however, the dominance of chaebol is unlikely and at risk to support the transformation of Korean economy for the future generations. South Korea is famous for its spectacular rise from one of the poorest countries in the world to adeveloped, high-income country in just one generation. This economic miracle, commonly known as the Miracle on the Han River, brought South Korea to the ranks of elite countries in the OECD and the G-20. South Korea still remains one of the fastest growing developed countries in the world following the Great Recession. It is included in the group of Next Eleven countries that will dominate the global economy in the middle of the21st century.
By creating favorable policy directive for economic development as preceded by Japanese economic recovery as the logistic supplying bastion for American troops in the Korean peninsula during and after the Korean War, South Korea's rigorous education system and the establishment of a highly motivated and educated populace is largely responsible for spurring the country's high technology boom and rapid economic development. Having almost no natural resources and always suffering from overpopulation in its small territory, which deterred continued population growth and the formation of a large internal consumer market, South Korea adapted an export-oriented economic strategy to fuel its economy, and in 2014, South Korea was the seventh largest exporter and seventh largest importer in the world. Bank of Korea and Korea Development Institute periodically release major economic indicators and economic trends of the economy of South Korea.
The economy of South Korea is the global leader of Consumer electronics, Mobile Broadband and Smartphone. South Korea's LCD TV global market share also jumped to 37 percent in 2009, from 27 percent at the end of 2007, and it will soon replace Japan as the world's number-one LCD-TV supplier. The economy of South Korea ranks No.1 in the world in ICT Development Index 2015 and 2015 Bloomberg Innovation Index.
Despite the South Korean economy's high growth potential and apparent structural stability, South Korea suffers perpetual damage to its credit rating in the stock market due to the belligerence of North Korea in times of deep military crises, which has an adverse effect on the financial markets of the South Korean economy. South Korea was one of the few developed countries that was able to avoid a recession during the global financial crisis, and its economic growth rate will reach 6.1% in 2010, a sharp recovery from economic growth rates of 2.3% in 2008 and 0.2% in 2009 when the global financial crisis hit. The South Korean economy again recovered with the record-surplus of US$70.7 billion mark of the current account in the end of 2013, up 47 percent growth from 2012, amid uncertainties of the global economic turmoil, with major economic output being the technology products exports. SectorsShipbuilding
During the 1970s and 1980s, South Korea became a leading producer of ships, including oil supertankers, and oil-drilling platforms. The country's major shipbuilder was Hyundai, which built a 1-million-ton capacity drydock at Ulsan in the mid-1970s. Daewoo joined the shipbuilding industry in 1980 and finished a 1.2-million-ton facility at Okpo on Geoje Island, south of Busan, in mid-1981. The industry declined in the mid-1980s because of the oil glut and because of a worldwide recession. There was a sharp decrease in new orders in the late 1980s; new orders for 1988 totaled 3 million gross tons valued at US$1.9 billion, decreases from the previous year of 17.8 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively. South Korea eventually became the world's dominant shipbuilder with a 50.6% share of the global shipbuilding market as of 2008. Notable Korean shipbuilders are Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, and STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, the world's four largest shipbuilding companies. STX Offshore & Shipbuilding also ownsSTX Europe, which is Europe's largest shipbuilder. Automobile
The automobile industry was one of South Korea's major growth and export industries in the 1980s. By the late 1980s, the capacity of the South Korean motor industry had increased more than fivefold since 1984; it exceeded 1 million units in 1988. Total investment in car and car-component manufacturing was over US$3 billion in 1989. Total production (including buses and trucks) for 1988 totaled 1.1 million units, a 10.6 percent increase over 1987, and grew to an estimated 1.3 million vehicles (predominantly passenger cars) in 1989. Almost 263,000 passenger cars were produced in 1985—a figure that grew to approximately 846,000 units in 1989. South Korea today has developed into one of the world's largest automobile producers. Hyundai Kia Automotive Group is Korea's largest automaker. Mining
Most of the mineral deposits in the Korean Peninsula are located in North Korea, with the South only possessing an abundance of tungsten and graphite. Coal, iron ore, and molybdenum are found in South Korea, but not in large quantities and mining operations are on a small scale. Much of South Korea's minerals and ore are imported from other countries. Most South Korean coal is low-grade anthracite that is only used for heating homes and boilers. Construction
Construction has been an important South Korean export industry since the early 1960s and remains a critical source of foreign currency and invisible export earnings. By 1981 overseas construction projects, most of them in the Middle East, accounted for 60 percent of the work undertaken by South Korean construction companies. Contracts that year were valued at US$13.7 billion. In 1988, however, overseas construction contracts totaled only US$2.6 billion (orders from the Middle East were US$1.2 billion), a 1 percent increase over the previous year, while new orders for domestic construction projects totaled US$13.8 billion, an 8.8 percent increase over 1987. orea's largest construction companies include Samsung C&T Corporation, which built some of the highest building's and most noteworthy skyscrapers such as Petronas Towers, Taipei 101, and Burj Khalifa. Armaments
South Korea has also outsourced its defense industry to produce various core components of other countries' advanced military hardware. Those hardware include modern aircraft such as F-15K fighters and AH-64 attack helicopters which will be used by Singapore, whose airframes will be built by Korea Aerospace Industries in a joint-production deal with Boeing. In other major oursourcing and joint-production deals, South Korea has jointly produced the S-300 air defense system of Russia via Samsung Group, and will facilitate the sales of Mistral class amphibious assault ships to Russia that will be produced by STX Corporation. South Korea's defense exports were $1.03 billion in 2008 and $1.17 billion in 2009. Tourism
In 2012, 11.1 million foreign tourists visited South Korea, making it the 20th most visited country in the world, up from 8.5 million in 2010. Recently, the number of tourists, especially from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia, has grown dramatically due to the increased popularity of the Korean Wave (Hallyu).
Seoul is the principal tourist destination for visitors; popular tourist destinations outside of Seoul include Seorak-san national park, the historic city of Gyeongju and semi-tropical Jeju Island. In 2014 South Korea hosted the League of Legends season 4 championship.
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