1961The 1960’s marked the beginning of Korea’s rapid economic development, characterized by a shift from agriculture to industry. The Government of Korea sought to increase the capacity of road and rail transport, improve quality of education, and increase productivity of its existing agricultural base. In 1961 Korea joined the International Development Association (IDA) and, one year later, it received its first IDA funding for a railway project.
1972World Bank approves $48 million in loans and credits for an irrigation project in the Yong San Gang basin to increase the production of rice, vegetables, fruit and other crops. The project included: construction of dams, reservoirs, irrigation and drainage systems, on-farm development, service roads and supporting services. Five years later, the second stage of the project received an additional $95 million from the Bank.
1980The World Bank loaned $80 million for improvements and new works at the ports of Busan and Mukho in Korea. The project was designed to meet the needs for increased port capacity and to reduce cargo handling and shipping costs of export-import and coastal trade.
1997-98During the financial crisis of the late 1990s, the World Bank supported the Government of Korea’s reform programs in financial sector restructuring, corporate sector and labor market reforms and social safety nets through a series of adjustment loans, worth a total of $7 billion.
2000WBI-The Korea Knowledge Partnership Program (KKPI) is established. The Government of Korea began a program of sending senior officials to the World Bank Institute (WBI).
2009The Korea Trust Fund for Economic and Peace-building Transitions (KTF) is established to initiate the WBG-Korea partnership on fragile states with an original contribution of $5 million from the Republic of Korea. Additional contributions were received in subsequent years. The total value of the Trust fund is currently $23.8 million.
2011Korea and the World Bank Group formalized a strategic partnership with the creation of the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund (KGGTF), to support green growth operations into the World Bank portfolio. US$40 million is allocated over four years (2013-2016). In 2013, 20 proposals were approved.
2013The World Bank Group opens a new main office in Songdo and a liaison office in Seoul. The new offices will support a broad range of development partnership opportunities with a focus on promoting best practices, by leveraging the Bank Group’s knowledge and convening power and Korea’s expertise in areas such as economic development policy, information communications technology, infrastructure and the financial sector.