South Korea

South Korea

Monica Darda
Monica Darda

Country Expert

South Korea Statistics

The economy of South Korea is a highly developed mixed economy dominated by family-owned conglomerates called chaebols. It is the 4th largest GDP in Asia and the 12th largest in the world. South Korea is known for its spectacular rise from one of the poorest countries in the world to a developed, high-income country in just a few generations.
Currently, South Korea is one of the highly developed democracies having the highest rank regarding freedom of press in the whole of Asia. South Korea is also a member of the Paris Club and the G20.
$ 1 Lakh Crores
GDP in USD trillion
1 Crores
Population (2019)
Area ( km. sq. )
Import Of South Korea

In 2018 South Korea imported a total of $509B, making it the number 10th trade destination in the world.
Main Import Countries

Export Of South Korea

In 2018 South Korea exported a total of $617B, making it the number 5th exporter in the world.
Main Export Countries

Major Sectors

Ship Building Automobiles Mining Tourism Electronics Construction

In the early 1970s and 1980s, Korea emerged to be one of the world's leaders in shipbuilding, oil super tankers, and other oil drilling platform. The largest shipbuilder in the country was Hyundai which in the mid-1970s build a one-million-ton capacity drydock at Ulsam. Another major player in the shipbuilding industry is Daewoo, which in the 1980s managed to produce a 1.2-million-ton facility at Okpo. However, in the early 1980s, the industry experienced a decline because of the global recession and oil glut, but in the late 1980s, there was a sharp increase, and in 1988 total orders of ships from Korea were valued at $1.9 billion. By the 1990s, shipyards in South Korea tripled their shipbuilding capacities and by 1999, the country had achieved global market leadership in shipbuilding. By 2008 the country was the world’s leader in shipbuilding, accounting for 50.6% of the Global market share.

South Korea's automotive industry is one of the world's largest. Previously, South Korea was only engaged in assembling parts which were imported from different countries, but today the country is one of the leading automobile manufacturing nations in the world. In 1988, the country's annual output 1.01 million units. During the 1990s, the country was manufacturing a wide array of in-house models with unique capabilities in performance, design, and technology.

Korea has a wide range of minerals found in the Korean Peninsula and therefore most of the deposits of minerals are found in North Korea, and South Korea has a few mineral deposits such as tungsten and graphite. South Korea’s mining industry is made up of technology savvy and well-developed companies such as Hyundai Steel, LS-Nikko Copper, Dongkuk Steel, State-owned Korea Zinc, Poongsan Corp, and Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO). Because of the huge demand in the domestic market for metals, the country imports most of its requirements to meet the demand for metals.

Tourism plays an important role in the economy of South Korea and the country is currently ranked as 20th highest country receiving most visitors in the world. In 2010, the country received 8.5 million tourists, which was a significant increase from 2012 when the visitors were 11.1 million. The most tourists who visit the country are mainly from Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and other Southeast Asian countries. Seoul is the popular tourist destination for the majority of visitors to South Korea, and other popular destinations include Sorensen National Park, semi-tropical Jeju Island, and the historic city of Gyeongju.

Electronics is one of South Korea's main industries. During the 1980s through the 2000s, South Korean companies such as Samsung, LG and SK have led South Korea's growth in Electronics. In 2017, 17.1% of South Korea's exports were semiconductors produced by Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix. Samsung and LG are also major producers in electronic devices such as Televisions, Smartphones, Display, and computers.

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.
South Korean construction companies therefore concentrated on the rapidly growing domestic market in the late 1980s. By 1989 there were signs of a revival of the overseas construction market: The Dong Ah Construction Company signed a US$5.3 billion contract with Libya to build the second phase (and other subsequent phases) of Libya's Great Man-Made River Project, with a projected cost of US$27 billion when all 5 phases were completed. South Korean construction companies signed over US$7 billion of overseas contracts in 1989. Korea's largest construction companies include Samsung C&T Corporation, which built some of the highest building's and most noteworthy skyscrapers such as three consecutively world's tallest buildings: Petronas Towers, Taipei 101, and Burj Khalifa.

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Date : 17-07 July 2020.
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