South Korea's Diplomatic Efforts

With a blossoming economy in the past few decades, the “Asian Tiger�? that is South Korea has grown to be a prominent player in the East Asian region. With business and trade relations throughout the world, South Korea works strongly towards a more unified Asian economic hub in cooperation with China and Japan. Furthermore, the country’s expanding regional role has allowed them to focus on promoting a more globally-focused diplomatic strategy. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, has five goals toward a future-oriented global diplomacy:

  • Consolidating Korea’s diplomatic relations with its neighboring countries
  • Expanding Korea’s diplomatic efforts in other regions
  • Consolidating Korea’s multilateral diplomatic efforts
  • Support for the development of overseas Korean communities
  • Active pursuit of cultural diplomacy

South Korea Nation-Branding Efforts

"In 2000, the Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy announced that to be globally competitive and boost exports, Koreans needed to shift from supplying generic products to developing their own brands. The Ministry’s strategic policy was to support branding at the national level. As a start, it reorganized and renamed the “Quality and Design Division” to the “Design and Brand Policy Division”.

"The Government supported companies in building a “Made in Korea” trademark, with a Brand Management Centre that provides brand consulting and a brand database where companies can find best practices, market trends, overseas consumer analysis and Korean brands’ export trends. It developed a National Brand Competitiveness Index and self-assessment tool for companies to measure their brand equity and plan future strategy. In 2002 and 2004, the Government held international brand conferences, where they invited professors, ambassadors, chief executives and brand experts to share experiences and to learn how foreigners viewed Korea."

SOURCE: "Branding Korea" by Sung-Ah Le

"South Korea is seeking to leverage on its private sector brands. Its "Vision for Power Korea 2010", aims to have 70% of total exports in Korean brand-name products and to have at least ten Korean brand names in the world's 100 most recognizable brands by 2010. It is now using the nation brand "Dynamic Korea". To meet this goal it has established a Brand Management Centre to provide brand consulting and developed a brand database where companies can find information such as best practices, market trends, overseas market analysis and export trends for Korean brands."

SOURCE: Institute of Policy Development

Global Corporations & Technology

Home to such international corporations as Samsung and Hyundai, business relations with the EA region and the world are a vital focus of the nation’s foreign policies. With a robust technology industry, South Korea’s continued innovations in the field are a primary concern in the government’s economic strategy. The Ministry of Information & Communication outlines the several paths in which the nation is further developing such efforts, including promotion of the IT industry through venture capital efforts and mass “informatization�? of the Korean population.

Two specific strategies offer perspective on the nation’s technological goals. The Broadband IT Korea Vision 2007 seeks to provide broadband internet access across the country, creating a “digital welfare society where every Korean can play a leading role.�? When completed, Korea believes the tactic will fuel new growth technology sectors, effectively raising per capita income to US$20,000, and will place the country at the forefront of the new global information society by strengthening international cooperation efforts.

The IT839 Strategy is a massive government-initiated plan to lead world-wide IT research, commerce, and infrastructure. Noting the industry’s crucial role in providing relief from the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis (IMF Crisis), has even loftier goals than the Broadband Vision, seeking a US$30,000 GDP/capita and an absolute leading position in expanding global communication.

With such efforts being a critical focus of the government, these strategies may indeed lead to a South Korean economy comparably equal to those of the world’s major powers. With increasing international cooperation through these new technological mediums, the nation promises to play an important position in regional and world affairs.

Vital Information

  • Population - 48,846,823 (July 2006 est.)
  • Government - Republic
  • Prime Minister Chung Un-chan
  • President Park Gun Hae

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