South Korea’s business outlook, perhaps, has the greatest upside of any other developed nation. One of the fasted growing industrialized nations of the 2000s, it was one of the few to avoid recession during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. In fact, South Korea is the only developed nation to be included into Goldman Sachs’ Next Eleven emerging economies. How does such a geographically small country with virtually no natural resources become a fast growing, industrialized economy? They’ve accomplished this by encouraging high-tech, export oriented industry and high savings rates, while maintaining low levels of debt that better allows South Korea to address unexpected financial crisis.
Korean industry includes traditional sectors – such as electronics, textiles, ships, autos, and steel – plus high-tech sectors including robotics, new materials, bioengineering, microelectronics, and aerospace.
And in spite of South Korea’s high growth potential and apparent structural stability, the nation also comes with several business risks / challenges. Most obvious is the perpetual damage imposed on its financial markets due to the belligerence of its neighbor, North Korea. Other long term challenges include a rapidly aging population, an inflexible labour market and a high exposure to global markets – due to its heavy reliance on international trade.