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The Republic of Korea has achieved remarkable success in recent decades in combining rapid economic growth with significant poverty reduction, with real gross domestic product (GDP) growing on average by 5.7% annually between 1980 and 2023. Korea’s gross national income (GNI) per capita increased rapidly from US$67 in the early 1950s to US$33,745 in 2023. Korea was 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 2010,

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’s experience offers lessons for developing countries in sustainable development, provision of infrastructure and better services to improve the lives of the people, and how to transition to a dynamic knowledge economy.

In line with its enhanced international role, the Korean government entered into a co-financing framework agreement with the World Bank and created multiple trust funds. The World Bank Group 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. The World Bank Group Korea office partnered with the Korea Development Institute on a flagship report to analyze how Korea was able to achieve sustained growth and a successful transition from a middle-to a high-income economy by leveraging innovation and technology for development. 

Last updated: April 2024

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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