Business in South Korea: economic snapshot February 2018 |

South Korea

Internal perspective

A strong exporting country for many years, South Korea is becoming one of the biggest e-commerce markets worldwide. More than 84% of the population has Internet access. But the recent removal of the country’s first leader in Korea’s democratic history has resulted in political unrest and a loss of faith in government. Time will tell how this affects the country’s overall economy.


51,446,201 (2017)

Internet users

89.9% (2013)

Gross domestic product (GDP)

  • $1.411 trillion

Top 5 Imports

Top 5 exports


Top 3 Trading Partners

Top franchises

GDP growth rate (est.)

  • 2.738% in 2016
  • 2.8% in 2017

Trends and outlooks

  • Roughly half of the GDP centered on exports (roughly half of GDP)
  • Slow growth due to low domestic consumption and investment
  • Flourishing K-Culture commanding global interest

Economic challenges

  • Aging population
  • Dominance of large conglomerates
  • Inflexible labor market

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