Industrial Sectors in Korea
The Industrial Sector is one of the key growth industries that have brought the Republic of Korea from poverty to one of the world’s wealthiest nations. South Korea had one of the world's fastest growing economies from the early 1960s to the late 1990s, and South Korea is still one of the fastest growing developed countries in the 2000s. South Koreans refer to this growth as the Miracle on the Han River of Heavy-Chemical Industry Drive.
The most significant factor in rapid industrialization was the adoption of an outward-looking strategy in the early 1960s. This export-oriented development strategy was particularly well-suited to that time as South Korean had limited natural resources. The strategy promoted economic growth through labor-intensive manufactured exports, in which South Korea could develop a competitive advantage. Government initiatives played an important role in this process. The inflow of foreign capital was greatly encouraged to supplement the shortage of domestic savings. These efforts enabled South Korea to achieve rapid growth in exports and subsequent increases in income. In 1986, manufacturing industries accounted for approximately 30 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and 25 percent of the work force.
In 1990, South Korean manufacturers planned a significant shift in future production plans toward high-technology industries. In June 1989, panels of government officials, scholars, and business leaders held planning sessions on the production of such goods as new materials, mechatronics—including industrial robotics—bioengineering, microelectronics, fine chemistry, and aerospace. It was estimated that over two-thirds of South Korea's manufacturers spent over half of the funds available for facility investments on automation. Factory automation systems were introduced to reduce dependence on labor, to boost productivity with a much smaller work force, and to improve competitiveness. Now, Korea is a developed country with a developed market.
Korean trade data is closely watched by international markets as the country is the world's seventh-largest exporter and the first major exporting economy to release a report each month, providing an early gauge on the health of global demand.
While much progress has been made in trade some sectors still face hurdles in the Korean market. Recently, foreign car manufactures in Korea have complained that Korean regulations for the car industry are too strict. Last month, the government decided to tighten maximum carbon dioxide emissions to 97g/km on average by 2020 and the fuel efficiency standard to 24.3km/l.
Hiring Industrial Talent In Korea
With its long history in the industrial sector, Korea has developed a large significant talent pool. As with other countries around the world engineers are in high demand at all levels. Bi-lingual English/Korean speaking engineers with management experience are in short supply. Companies wishing to hires the best industrial management talent should be prepared to offer a challenging work environment, vision for the future, competitive compensation and benefits, and opportunities for growth.