South Korea Stock Exchange
The Republic of Korea has enjoyed massive economic progress over the last three decades. Since making the decision to develop the economy in earnest in 1962, this country has gone from being one of the world’s poorest agrarian societies to the 11th largest GDP in the world. Much of this progress was brought about by a conscious shift from farming to light industry and consumer products and later heavy industry. The country also employed outward-looking development strategies and government involvement as part of efforts to improve the country’s economic status. As a result Korea’s GDP increased by $425.1 billion between 1962 and 1997. Currently the agricultural sector makes up only 3.3% of the country’s GDP. The services sector delivers with highest yields with a 56.3% portion of the GDP and the industry sector follows closely, contributing 40.3% of the GDP.
Despite suffering severe economic hardships just over 30 years ago, Korea is now reaping the benefits of having a thriving economy. Only 4% of the population live below the poverty line and only 3.4% of Korea’s inhabitants are unemployed. Inflation remains fairly stable at a steady 2.8% percent. The country’s main industries are electronics, automobile production, steel production, shipbuilding and the chemical industry. The country also enjoys a high level of import ($256 billion) and export ($288.2 billion) activity, trading mainly with China, Japan, Hong Kong, the US and Saudi Arabia.