South Korea

Walking the policy normalization tightrope

A1

LOW RISK for enterprise

  • Economic risk

  • Business environment risk

  • Political risk

  • Commercial risk

  • Financing risk

  • Economic risk

  • Business environment risk

  • Political risk

  • Commercial risk

  • Financing risk

Last updated in February 2022.

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GDP USD1799bn (World ranking 10, World Bank 2021)
Population 51.7mn (World ranking 28, World Bank 2021)
Form of state Democratic Republic
Head of government Yoon Seok-youl (President)
Next elections 2027, presidential
  • Advanced economy with high per capita income
  • Sound financial sector
  • Solid external position (low external debt, ample foreign exchange reserves, etc.)
  • Strong business environment
  • Firmly established democracy
  • Geopolitical risk stemming from North Korea
  • Economic vulnerabilities due to dependency on external demand
  • Slowly improving but still weak corporate governance
  • Aging population

Trade structure by destination/origin

(% of total, 2021)

Exports Rank Imports
China 25.3%
1
22.7% China
United States 14.9%
2
12% United States
Vietnam 8.8%
3
8.9% Japan
China, Hong Kong SAR 5.8%
4
5.4% Australia
Japan 4.7%
5
4.0% Saudi Arabia

Trade structure by product

(% of total, 2021)

Exports Rank Imports
Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, n.e.s. 24.1%
1
13.9% Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials
Road vehicles 10.4%
2
13.3% Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, n.e.s.
Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials 7.3%
3
8.0% Gas, natural and manufactured
Office machines and automatic data processing machines 5.9%
4
5.1% Metalliferous ores and metal scrap
Iron and steel 5.1%
5
4.0% Office machines and automatic data processing machines
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