Monday, July 11, 2016

Republic of Korea, a model of Spectacular Growth

Republic of Korea, A Model of Spectacular Growth

Republic of Korea (South Korea) a peninsula with 100,140 sq km area of which mountain cover is 70%, with a population of 48 million people among them 47% have no religion, 23% Buddhist, 18% Protestants, 11% Catholics, 1% other religion. It is well known in the world with its spectacular growth in the last 30 years. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution in Korea. As a result, large numbers of people believe in no religion, concentrating on their present life with comforts and happiness. 

A Mongolian race people are simple and social like Asian culture. Males earn and give money to the wives and enjoy food and drinks. (they bow down to their wives for demanding money and love: ton juseyo, sarange juseyo everyday!) The females are the backbone of the country as they look after family, finance, farming and jobs. 

Rice still remains the staple of most Koreans. Korean meal accompanied by various side dishes. A Korean traditional meal is not complete without kimchi, a mixture of various pickled vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, radish, green onion and cucumber. Kimchi are prepared with red chili powder and garlic and are soaked in a tasty liquid. People didn’t get vegetables for many months due to the cold climates. Tin late November or early December, Korean families used to prepare enough kimchi to last long winter. The kimchi was stored in large clay jars partially buried to maintain temperature and retain flavour. Now there are refrigerators to preserve kimchi. It is considered hot food with lot of red chilies (not near to the hotness of Indian food). People eat everything including fish, cells, crabs, octopus, chicken, duck, pork, dogs, etc. Pork and coffee become popular in the new generation Koreans. 

The creation of Hangul in the early Joseon period was a key turning point in the history of Korean literature. King Sejong the Great (1392-1450), one of the wisest and most outstanding kings of Korean history has developed Korean written language ‘Hangul’ with the help of scholars. The Korean alphabet has 24 characters; 14 consonants and 10 vowels. They are unique because, consonants are made by following the shape of the pronunciation organ and vowels are made by combining of 3 elements '', which symbolize the sun, earth and people, the most fundamental features in the universe. Every Korean word is made of the combinations of the consonants and vowels. For us few sentences were important. ‘an nyong ha se yo’ to greet; ‘ol ma ye yo’ to ask price; ‘kka kka ju se yo’ to demand discount and ‘gam sa Ham ni da’ for thanks.  

A Japanese Colony from 1910-1945 was liberated in 1945 was almost destroyed in civil wars between 1950-53 and got divided into North Korea and South Korea following Communist Government and Capitalist Government respectively. Russia supported the North Korean communist troops to destroy South Korea. USA guarded South Korea against the attacks. Approximately 28000 USA soldiers are camped here to guard the country. Both the brother countries spending very huge amount of budget on their defense, the same like Pakistan and India. United together, Korea can surpass Japan.   

South Korea has followed Capitalist Economic Policies of Export Oriented Industrialization; Industrial sequencing starting from Labour Intensive Industries (Textiles, Garments, toys, etc.) to Capital Intensive Industries (Electronics, Car, Ship, Oil Refinery, Civil Works, etc.) to High Value Added Industries. It has 10% large, 20% medium and 70% small industries. The size of the economy is 15th in the world. It’s export ratio is 43.4%. Samsung, LG, Hyundai, PASCO are the market leaders in the field of electronics & home appliances, car and constructions respectively. 

A story of Samsung started with a small company to make black & white TV in 1969, now reached to earn revenue of $148.9 billion with operating profit of $14.7 billion in 2011 is very encouraging for any entrepreneur. It is global no.1 in TV, monitor, smart phone, DRAM, DDI, NAND Pash; global no.2 in printer and LCD panels. Sony of Japan is trailing in losses and Samsung is competing with Apple. A thrilling story of a poor young man stealing a cow from his father sold it and came to a city, working in a rice shop, lifting bags on shoulders and moving with a bicycle, developed a giant industry PASCO in construction industries is one of the examples of the Korean’s strength and dedication to grow.    

In 1963, workers in the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors accounted for 63% of the total labour force. This figure dropped to 6.6% in 2010. By contrast the share of tertiary industry grew from 28.3% of employed people in 1963 to 76.4% in 2010. In the 1970s and 1980s, the government focused on the cultivation of a skilled workforce.

Its President Park, Chung Lee (1960-1978) who gave a mold to the country to follow path of Development Dictatorship said, “In human life, economics precedes politics or culture.” Large number of people believes that religion is an obstruction against growth as it kills desire of the people to become the best. 

The country with a GNI Per Capita $63 in 1953, $1000 in 1977, $11385 in 1995, $7000 in 1997 (financial crisis), $20320 in 2007 has reached to $29010 in 2010. It was a country receiving Grant-in aid in form of consumer goods till 1960; received development assistance in form of technical cooperation & loans during 1960-70; and a Donor country since 1990. It has established Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in 1991 and Join OECD/DAC in 2010.

It has organized Asian Games in 1986, Olympic Games in 1988. Korean youths are very good in Archery, wrestling, judo, taekwondo, badminton, boxing, shooting, TT, weightlifting and handball. 

Some say that Korea is an American puppy.  They are copying America. Christian faith has made strong inroads into the country. Coffee has replaced tea. People prefer pork to sea food. They have followed the same democratic model of USA with a directly elected President and two parliamentary houses, Congress and Senate. American President lives in White House, Korean President Lives in Blue House. USA started FEMA (Federal Emergency Management System), Korea started NEMA (National Emergency Management System). Koreans are marching ahead copying Americans in the interest of the people of Korea.

Korea has a lot to offer visitors; a peninsular country with picturesque valleys, mountains, rivers, beaches, ancient temples, royal palaces, sculptures, pagodas, archeological sites, fortresses, folk villages and museums. Seoul the capital is the world’s 10th largest city with the glistering facades of soaring skyscrapers and bustling traffic represent its vibrant present. Busan is the second largest metro city with beautiful beaches located at the southeast of the country. Jeju, a honeymoon island is the centre of tourist attractions.

Don’t miss a chance visiting Republic of Korea, A Model of Spectacular Growth.  

Gamsa Hamnida

22 April 2012


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