Korea Snapshot 2013

Find key economic figures and trends for Korea from OECD Yearbook 2013

The rise of IT and the Internet have been boons to Asia, but not everyone has benefited. There are challenges to overcome, not least in the area of governance.

The budget deficit for the OECD area as a whole probably peaked at around 7.5% of GDP in 2010. That’s the equivalent of some US$3.3 trillion. A decrease to around 6.1% of GDP is expected in 2011, which will still be high by historical standards. But while the need to restore public finances is a global challenge, the state of government balance sheets varies widely. Economic starting points, causes of deficits and budgetary strategies also vary. Some countries have started down the road of austerity, others are maintaining stimulus and plan to rein in their deficits from 2011.

In December 2010 we asked finance ministers from a broad selection of countries facing different fiscal challenges–France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa–to answer this question: “What actions is your government taking to bolster public finances, while upholding growth and services?”

Korea's joining the OECD in 1996 was an important milestone in the globalisation of the organisation. It remains the only Asian country to have joined the OECD since Japan in 1964. Its membership was also an important recognition of the exceptional economic, social and political progress Korea had made in previous decades, rising from the ashes of war to become a world economic power and full-fledged democracy.

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