The Korean economy withstood the blow dealt by COVID-19 better than most, with one of the smallest contractions in economic output of any OECD country – and its GDP per capita surpassing the OECD average for the first time. This underlines Korea’s skilful management of the pandemic. A strong export-led rebound in 2021 and early 2022 has since seen overall employment levels exceed pre-crisis levels.
This puts Korea in a strong position as it turns its attention to overcoming global economic headwinds and tackling long-standing challenges, such as demographic pressures stemming from an ageing population.
While less exposed to the consequences of Russia’s war in Ukraine than some other countries, Korea has not been immune to global inflationary pressures. Its dependence on raw materials is also highlighting the need to build greater resilience and supply-chain diversification.
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.