Korea’s COVID-19 containment strategy in 2020 was one of the most effective in the world. With the first case identified on 20 January, it was among the first countries to be affected by the virus. However, the government’s early-stage interventions, as well as the mobilisation of resources in conducting large-scale testing and contact tracing, played a key role in rapidly identifying cases and breaking transmission chains.
Korea drew on lessons learnt from previous epidemics, where the government was able to mitigate the crisis without imposing lockdowns or curfews. The use of information and communications technology (ICT) – a key tenet of the Korean New Deal – was a vital part of its response to COVID-19. The government disseminated disaster emergency messages to individuals, informing them of local outbreaks and health guidelines. Private sector organisations and individuals utilised open government data to provide applications, including real-time mask stock tracker, showing pharmacies with mask stocks.
Harnessing digitalisation to build resilient SMEs in Korea
Drawing on its digital know-how and OECD best practices, Korea’s support for SMEs helped them overcome the pandemic – and empowered them for the future.
Investing in people, innovation and sustainability
Korea’s stellar rise as one of the most advanced economies in the world today is a story of resilience, adaptability and creativity. When it joined the OECD in 1996, it was already making its mark, having delivered remarkable rates of growth and development. It has since gone on to become a world leader in many fields, including in education, technology and sustainability.