|Technological Independence The Asian experience (UNU, 1994, 372 pages)|
|3. The Republic of Korea|
Because the import of foreign technologies requires foreign exchange, it has been controlled by the law for foreign capital inducement. Before the revision of 1978, every contract for technology imports was reviewed by the Minister of the Economic Planning Board. The operational decrees of the foreign capital inducement law, revised in 1978, classified technology imports under three categories, enabling some imports to be exempted from the review.
To be classified in the review-free category, the contract would have to be short-term and worth only a small amount and the imported technology would have to be deemed necessary for any one of the following industries: shipbuilding, machines, electronics, electrics, metals, chemicals, or textiles. Technology imports in other categories still had to be reviewed. Long-term contracts or ones involving large amounts and/or the import of technologies necessary for the nuclear, computer, or defence industries belonged to this latter category. Technology imports not included in either of these two categories were exempted from review only when no objections were raised within 20 days by the ministry from which the Minister of the Economic Planning Board asked an opinion.
More revisions were later made in the direction of liberalizing technology imports, and finally, in June 1984, individual review was completely abolished. As a result, technology imports nearly doubled, the amount spent annually increasing from $120 million in 1983 to $213 million in 1984.