|Technological Independence The Asian experience (UNU, 1994, 372 pages)|
|3. The Republic of Korea|
In order to modernize the economy, the Republic of Korea adopted an unbalanced growth strategy for industrialization. Anticipated imbalances became apparent in many areas, for example between urban and regional development, between large-scale and small-scale businesses, and between export and domestic industries.
To redress the urban bias, increasing income in rural areas has become an important issue for the country. To this end, the mechanization of farming has been recently promoted in order to increase agricultural productivity. Opportunities for off-farm income generation have also been expanded through the creation of small-scale industrial estates in rural areas.
Large-scale enterprises have reached the level at which they can take care of themselves, and hence assistance in recent years has been directed towards the promotion of small and medium-scale enterprises. As a result, the latter are increasing both production and exports. This effort will be continued.
In order to balance export and domestic industries, a programme of industrial structural adjustment has been devised to effect a shift in the direction of technology-intensive industries. Here technology development emerges as most important. At their present level of development, Korean industries should possess enough indigenous capability to overcome the growing protectionism in technology and to increase their bargaining power for its importation.