Korea: Current political and economic developments

30 May 2017

South Korea’s political and economic environment is undergoing major changes due to the election of the new president. We have chosen two articles that outline what South Korean people (and consumers) want from their new president and the potential changes that the election of Moon Jae In might bring.

South Koreans want new leader to create jobs minus corruption

Before the presidential election on 9 May, concern about the country’s stagnating economy was widespread. This concern resulted in increasing public demand for change with respect to the concentration of wealth and power in Korea’s chaebol (business groups) and high levels of corruption involving collusion between the government and big businesses. The lack of solid reforms for tackling major issues such high youth unemployment, increased inequality and economic injustice in South Korea were also of wide concern. Both presidential candidates promised to increase jobs and lower unemployment, to put limits on chaebol power, to increase trade regulator power and to improve corporate governance. The new president will need to act fast to restore the country’s former economic prosperity and redress the sense of malaise affecting much of the country.

Read the full article on The Morning Journal website.

Moon Jae In Wins South Korea's Presidential Election

South Korean liberal politician Moon Jae In won the presidential election on 9 May. The election was held ahead of schedule, after former president Park Geun Hye was impeached on corruption charges. Moon plans to restore the country’s prosperity and improve relations with North Korea through dialogue and economic and cultural exchange, despite a lack of support for these moves by the United States, a key ally. Moon also plans to fight corruption by limiting chaebol power and tightening regulation, and to revitalise South Korea’s economy by creating more jobs through the introduction of a stimulus plan to create more public positions. The key pledge that president Moon gave to the South Korean public is to prioritise the needs and interests of South Korea above those of its foreign allies. With the country having elected a new president so recently, it is important for businesses engaging with the South Korean market to be aware of the movement for change in the country’s political and economic landscape.

Read the full article on The Atlantic website.  

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