South Korea's Heavy and Chemical Industrialization: Historical Overview and Policy Instruments

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National Research University Higher School of Economics invites you to participate in our online meeting of the Discussion Club on Modern Economic Policy. At this time we will host Professor Choong-Yong Ahn, Graduate School of International Studies, Chung-Ang University, Seoul with a presentation 

South Korea's Heavy and Chemical Industrialization: Historical Overview and Policy Instruments

Abstract:  South Korea has emerged from one of the poorest countries in the world to a modern industrial power in the past 60 years. Starting from a labor-intensive export manufacturing in the early 1960s, South Korea had shifted dramatically in the early 1970s to the government-led heavy and chemical industrialization (HCI) including iron and steel, shipbuilding, oil refinery, electronics, machinery, automobiles, non-ferrous metals, and textiles. The Government had utilized firm-specific and industry-specific carrot and stick policies by providing subsidized credits, foreign loans, investment tax credits, accelerated depreciation allowances, etc for good performing enterprises but exiting badly performing ones from the market. The HCI promotion policies have fostered the growth of large conglomerates, known as chaebols. Korea's successful chaebols have constantly nurtured their competitive strengths through technological deepening and better governance to remain robust at fiercely competing international markets, some belonging to the fortunes 500 list. Korea and chaebols now face a host of challenges to progress towards a truly advanced and sustainable economy in the 4th industrial revolution era.  

Dr. Choong-Yong Ahn
Distinguished Professor of Economics, Graduate School of International Studies, Chung-Ang University, Seoul


About the speaker: Dr. Ahn is currently Chairman, Korea Commission for Corporate Partnership (KCCP) and responsible for inducing voluntary collaborations and nurturing synergy between Korea’s big businesses, and small and medium enterprises. He is also Chairman of the Board, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO.) Before taking his current posts, he served as Foreign Investment Ombudsman (2006-2014) who is the troubleshooter responsible for resolving grievances raised by foreign investor at the Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency in Korea. He is former Chairman of the Presidential Regulatory Reform Committee (2010-2012). He also holds Distinguished Professorship at Graduate School of International Studies, Chung-Ang University. While on sabbatical from Chung-Ang University, he also served several posts such as the President of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (2002-2005); Chair of the APEC Economic Committee; Chair of Board, Choheung Bank; consultant to the World Bank; UNIDO Chief Technical Advisor to the Economic Planning Unit of Malaysia to design Malaysia's industrial master plan; and served as President of several academic societies in Korea including the Korea International Economics Association, Korean Association of Trade and Industry Studies, and the Korea Econometric Society.

Dr. Ahn’s honors include the Economist of the Year Award from the Maeil Business Daily Newspaper in Korea, the Okita Policy Research Award by the National Institute for Research Advancement in Japan for his publication on “Modern East Asian Economy”, and Free Economy Publication Award by the Federation of Korean Industries. Since receiving his Ph.D. from Ohio State University, Dr. Ahn has published many articles in international journals including Review of Economics and Statistics, European Economic Review, Japanese Economic Review, Journal of Asian Economics and Monograph papers in North-Holland, Cambridge University Press, Springer and Edward Elgar, etc. Dr. Ahn most recent publications include  “Towards an East Asian Economic Community: Opportunities and Challenges, Chapter 6 in (ed. Peter Hayes and C.I. Moon) The Future of East Asia, Asia Today, Macmillan, Palgrave, 2018. 

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