Korea, South Economy 2001 - Flags, Maps, Economy, Geography, Climate, Natural Resources, Current Issues, International Agreements, Population, Social Statistics, Political System
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    Korea, South Geography 2001


      Economy - overview: As one of the Four Dragons of East Asia, South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth. Three decades ago GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. Today its GDP per capita is seven times India's, 16 times North Korea's, and comparable to the lesser economies of the European Union. This success through the late 1980s was achieved by a system of close government/business ties, including directed credit, import restrictions, sponsorship of specific industries, and a strong labor effort. 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 1997-99 exposed certain longstanding weaknesses in South Korea's development model, including high debt/equity ratios, massive foreign borrowing, and an undisciplined financial sector. By 1999 GDP growth had recovered, reversing the substantial decline of 1998. Seoul has pressed the country's largest business groups to restructure and to strengthen their financial base. Growth in 2001 likely will be a more sustainable rate of 5%.

      GDP: purchasing power parity - $764.6 billion (2000 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate: 9% (2000 est.)

      GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $16,100 (2000 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector:
      agriculture: 5.6%
      industry: 41.4%
      services: 53% (1999 est.)

      Population below poverty line: NA%

      Household income or consumption by percentage share:
      lowest 10%: 2.9%
      highest 10%: 24.3% (1993)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.3% (2000)

      Labor force: 22 million (2000)

      Labor force - by occupation: services 68%, industry 20%, agriculture 12% (1999)

      Unemployment rate: 4.1% (2000 est.)

      revenues: $81.8 billion
      expenditures: $94.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $6.1 billion (1999)

      Industries: electronics, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel, textiles, clothing, footwear, food processing

      Industrial production growth rate: 17% (2000)

      Electricity - production: 250.287 billion kWh (1999)

      Electricity - production by source:
      fossil fuel: 59.22%
      hydro: 1.64%
      nuclear: 39.12%
      other: 0.02% (1999)

      Electricity - consumption: 232.767 billion kWh (1999)

      Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)

      Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)

      Agriculture - products: rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish

      Exports: $172.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000)

      Exports - commodities: electronic products, machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, steel, ships; textiles, clothing, footwear; fish

      Exports - partners: US 20.5%, Japan 11%, China 9.5%, Hong Kong 6.3%, Taiwan 4.4% (1999)

      Imports: $160.5 billion (f.o.b., 2000)

      Imports - commodities: machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, textiles, organic chemicals, grains

      Imports - partners: US 20.8%, Japan 20.2%, China 7.4%, Saudi Arabia 4.7%, Australia 3.9% (1999)

      Debt - external: $137 billion (November 2000)

      Economic aid - recipient: $NA

      Currency: South Korean won (KRW)

      Currency code: KRW

      Exchange rates: South Korean won per US dollar - 1,271.89 (January 2001), 1,130.96 (2000), 1,188.82 (1999), 1,401.44 (1998), 951.29 (1997), 804.45 (1996)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Korea, South on this page is re-published from the 2001 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Korea, South Economy 2001 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Korea, South Economy 2001 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    >Revised 21-Dec-01
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