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Korean Economic Growth
Transcript of Korean Economic Growth
Japanese ruled over Korean economy throughout the beginning of the 20th century - the departure of the Japanese gave Korea an additional blow.
A 1948 World Bank report indicated that the South Korean economy was
"close to the bottom of the international economic scale and without the benefit of sufficient supply of natural resources."
Korean Economic Growth
The United States sent $525 million to ROK between 1945-48; this support saved the population from starving to death and allowed some economic rehabilitation.
Reconstruction of new railroads, highways and power plants, also increased supply of fertilizer contributed to a formal growth rate.
The most significant economic achievement of South Korea was industrialization;
it resulted in increasing production of electric power, cement, chemical fertilizer, textiles, and the training of scientists and skilled workers.
South Korea developed new industries such as automobile, electronics, iron and steel, petrochemical, oil refinery, and shipbuilding.
Korea - a lawful international member
By mid-1990s Korea was a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), with the 11th largest economy in the world.
Even though it was badly hit by the 1997 Asian economic crisis, and suffered from negative economic growth, within two years, its economy had bounced back.
Despite the many criticism Park Cheong-hee received for seizing power through a military coup, it was during his reign that Korea made its huge economic development.
Land reform program started: all farmland not cultivated by the owners were purchased by the government. In turn, the government sold these lands to farmers, charging lower prices than it had paid to the former owners and providing the opportunity to pay in a long-term installment scheme.
Three new railroads and the development of the coal industry helped manufacturing industries to operate their factories.
GNP grew to $68 million in 1950.
The Korean War wiped out all such gains and once again Korea was kept going by economic assistance from the US and the UN.
Syngman Rhee's economic interests were limited and he was satisfied only by providing security and his own political survival.
While the new military leaders had no ready-made blueprint for economic development, they were determined to make South Korea an economic success.
Five-year Economic Development Plan by military junta,
Sustained expansion of exports with large US grants and foreign loans,
Normalization of relations with Japan,
Founding modern industrial structure based on exports,
Heavy industry and modernization of farm villages and rural areas
Measures taken through the path of accend!
After tight controls on labor were relaxed by Roh Tae-woo, turbulations of the currency, Korean Won, in the market stabilized.
By 1998 South Korea's exports grew by 28.3% to $60.7 billion, while imports rose by 26.3% to $51.8 billion, making Korea one of the world's 10 largest trading nations