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 7.3% annually between 1960 and 2019. This strong performance was fueled by annual export growth of 16.0% on average from 1961–2019, while savings and investment rose to 34.7% and 29.8% of GDP respectively. 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 over US$30,000 in 2018.
Korea is a key development partner of the World Bank Group and since 1977, an important contributor 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. In 2015, Korea established a target to expand its official development assistance (ODA) to gross national income (GNI) ratio to 0.2% by 2020 and 0.3% by 2030 and has since been continuously increasing its ODA volume.
Positioning itself for an enhanced international role, the Korean government increased its IDA contributions, entered into a co-financing framework agreement with the Bank, and created multiple trust funds. The World Bank Group Korea Office is in the process of becoming a global hub for innovation and technology for sustainable development. As a global innovation and technology hub, the Korea office will help developing countries adopt innovative and technology-enabled development solutions and support green growth innovations for sustainable development. Two flagship events on innovation and technology – Global Innovative Growth Forum co-organized with the Ministry of Economy and Finance in 2019, and the Korea Innovation Week in 2020 – showcased progress in partnerships and programs of the Korea office.
As countries around the world work to contain the spread and impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the World Bank Group Korea Office is working with the Korean government to share the country’s expertise and experience, particularly in the use of innovative and technology-enabled solutions to respond to the pandemic.
Last Updated: Apr 06, 2021