OECD Territorial Reviews: Korea 2001

OECD's territorial review of Korea. It finds that deep societal changes against the backdrop of rapid economic growth have characterised Korea in the Post-War period. Most notably, the tripling of its population has induced significant territorial transformations. Despite the effort to promote balanced regional growth, Korea is still characterised by substantial geographical polarisation. An economically dominant Capital region lodges more than 45 per cent of the country’s population, producing nearly half of its GDP. Over the past decade, policy makers have developed a comprehensive spatial perspective, they have put in place policies tackling the use of land, infrastructure and problems in lagging regions, and they have significantly restructured territorial governance. However, further action may help fully exploit the on-going efforts. Cross-sectoral co-ordination is weak and better correspondence between the overall spatial vision and financial support to individual public projects seems appropriate. Territorial governance remains centrally oriented with the result that limited local autonomy may hinder regional innovation directed to sustainable economic growth. The focus on large firms may fail in exploiting the considerable contribution of SMEs to regional development.

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