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Tuesday, 8th July 2014

OECD Economic Surveys: Korea June 2014 (Overview)

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

From Main Findings:

Korea has been among the fastest growing OECD countries during the past decade. However, subdued growth during 2011-12 revealed structural problems, such as high household debt, a lagging service sector and weak small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This has raised concerns about Korea's traditional catch-up strategy led by exports produced by large chaebol companies. In addition, Korea has experienced a rise in relative poverty and income inequality since 1997, although both have fallen recently. The new growth strategy aims at fostering a “creative economy”, in which venture businesses play a key role, accompanied by greater emphasis on social cohesion, including increased social spending and a roadmap to boost employment. Such initiatives will support the current upturn, while promoting Korea's long-term convergence to the most advanced countries and enhancing social cohesion and well-being.

While R&D spending was the highest in the OECD, at 4.4% of GDP in 2012, weaknesses in the innovation system limit the return. International collaboration in patenting and research is low and the role of universities is small. Framework conditions to promote a creative economy are also weak, reflecting relatively stringent product market regulations and low inward foreign direct investment. The creation of new enterprises is hampered by problems in the venture capital market and SME financing. The productivity gap between large firms and SMEs, which benefit from a wide range of public support, is widening, reflecting problems in services. Indeed, service sector productivity is only about half of that in manufacturing. Greenhouse gas emissions and energy intensity have been rising despite the 2009-13 green growth plan.

+ Direct link to Overview (PDF; 1.1 MB)

+ Press Release


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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