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The Republic of Korea has achieved remarkable success in combining rapid economic growth with significant poverty reduction. The government of Korea’s policies resulted in real gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 5.45% annually between 1988 and 2019. This robust performance was fueled by annual export growth averaging 9.27% in the same period. As the first former aid recipient to become a member of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2009, Korea’s gross national income (GNI) per capita increased rapidly from US$67 in the early 1950s to US$33,790 in 2019.

Korea is a key development partner of the World Bank Group (WBG) and an important contributor (since 1977) to the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund that supports the world’s poorest countries. Today Korea offers development experience that inspires many developing countries in sustainable development, provision of infrastructure and better services to improve the lives of the people, and transition to a dynamic knowledge economy. Korea has sustained steady growth in its official development assistance (ODA) budget and provided US$ 2.2 billion, representing 0.14% of gross national income (GNI) in 2020. The government has also committed to double its ODA from 2019 levels by 2030.

In line with its enhanced international role, the Korean government increased its IDA contributions, entered into a co-financing framework agreement with the World Bank, and created multiple trust funds. The World Bank Korea Office was established in 2013, and is currently in its third Phase (FY22-24) under the banner of a global center for innovation and technology for sustainable development. 

As countries around the world work to contain the spread and impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the World Bank Group Korea Office and the Korean government have launched a partnership to share the country’s expertise and experience, particularly in the use of innovative and technology-enabled solutions to respond to the pandemic.

To facilitate knowledge sharing, the World Bank Group and Korea’s Ministry of Economy and Finance have supported an analytical program on pandemic preparedness and response in the EAP region. Five countries from the region—Fiji, Malaysia, Mongolia, Vietnam, and the Republic of Korea—will collaborate to share their preparedness and response lessons to help inform current and future pandemic responses. 

Last Updated: Mar 11, 2022

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37F. Boo Young Songdo Tower 2, 241, Incheon tower-daero, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon, Korea
Incheon, 82-32-713-7000
Washington, 202-473-4709
1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433