How to use Korea's Economic Development Experiences

November 9, 2021

By Amira HADJ SALEM, 2021 GMPA Student(Public Management and Public Sector Reforms)

Korea’s economic development: the secret behind?

This lecture is the 3rd of the GMPA special lectures series and during which we were honored to receive Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency’s (KOTRA) EVP for Economic Cooperation & Trade, Mr. Taeho KIM.

Mr. KIM started his lecture with introducing (KOTRA)’s main activities and functions which mainly seeks to attract Foreign Direct Investments through providing trade and investment counsel to businesses. KOTRA is an important instrument of the Korean Economic policy.

Thanks to this lecture, students were able to familiarize with the three key factors that contributed to the dramatic Korean economic growth:


1)Export-oriented policies: having an expansionist look towards overseas market the Korean government has implemented export-driven incentives such as the reduction of raw material import duties and the emittance of low-interest corporate loans

2)Five-year economic plans: identifying the socio-economic characteristics and implement adequate plans that should progressively prepare the economy for total liberalization by the early 90s

3)Inclusion of the rural communities: a nationwide movement (Saemaul Undong) was launched during the 1970s in order to increase income and productivity of rural areas


Mr. KIM also presented the most important instrument that allow Korea’s partner countries to learn from its experience: The Knowledge Sharing Program KSP. This latter was a major debate point later about whether it’s better to provide experience knowledge or financial support. Which one you think is better?!

In fine, it is important to emphasize that the Korean economic development model can’t be just replicated as it is; maintaining strong leadership and willpower, understanding the specific needs of each environment along with the people’s commitment are key success factors.

This lecture was very informative and helped me gain more insights about the Korean Economic Experience of which I’m a big fan. I would like to thank the GMPA office for their relentless efforts in providing the GMPA scholars with adequate materials allowing them to become better future leaders in their countries!