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Korea in the OECD Observer: A selection from the archives Koreans online One country with an exemplary record in broadband is Korea, host of the 2008 OECD ministerial meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy. On broadband reach it is the seventh in the OECD in December 2007, for fibre-optics it lies second only to Japan and is well ahead of the rest of the field, and for download speeds, it is in a comfortable third, after France and Japan. Korea is also a leader in mobile technology. Some 94% of households had access to broadband via computers or mobile phones in 2006, three times more than in 2000, and many hotels and public places provide broadband connections for free. In fact, Koreans are so “wired” that Internet addiction is now seen as a treatable condition. (2008), “Koreans online”, OECD Observer No 268, June

Korea: Better social policies for a stronger economy

Korea’s young workers

Knowledge is power!

Credit to Korea

The Korean economic wave continues forward, with strong growth and low unemployment expected in 2008-09. But the upsurge appears to have left some younger people behind. True, at 10%, Korean youth unemployment is below the OECD average of nearer 15%, and though the country has a lower employment rate, this reflects a much lower school drop-out rate and high participation in education.

Korea’s economic transformation has been one of the most remarkable of the past century. From the ashes of a terrible war, in a short period of time it rose to become an industrial power, joining the OECD in 1996. Korea has now set itself the ambition of becoming a knowledge-based economy.

Korea’s economic recovery in 2002–with GDP growth of 6% despite a sluggish world economy–reflects the success of its economic restructuring programme and the underlying dynamism of the economy. But this should not lead to complacency about resolving remaining structural weaknesses and addressing emerging imbalances, the latest OECD Economic Survey of Korea says.

Willem Adema, Peter Tergeist and Raymond Torres, OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs

(2003), “Credit to Korea” OECD Observer No 236, March

Adema, Willem, Peter Tergeist and Raymond Torres (2000), “Korea: Better social policies for a stronger economy”, OECD Observer No 223, October

“Korea’s young workers” OECD Observer No 264-265, December 2007-January 2008

“Knowledge is power!” OECD Observer No 240-241, December 2003

Crisis, what crisis, is a tempting way to describe Korea these days. With the economy expanding rapidly again and unemployment below 4%, which is low by most standards, the traumatic effects of the financial crisis of late 1997 are receding in many people’s memories.

(1998) OECD Economic Surveys - Korea, (Korean version)

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OECD Observer No 308 Q4 2016  
OECD Observer No 308 Q4 2016