Chamber of Commerce Country Factsheet Last update: 20.06.2018
Your advisors at the Chamber of Commerce
- Na Shi+352423939364
- Sabrina Aksil+352423939374
An independent kingdom for much of its long history, Korea was occupied by Japan beginning in 1905 following the Russo-Japanese War. In 1910, Tokyo formally annexed the entire Peninsula. Korea regained its independence following Japan's surrender to the US in 1945. After World War II, a democratic-based government (Republic of Korea, ROK) was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a communist-style government was installed in the north (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK). During the Korean War (1950-53), US troops and UN forces fought alongside ROK soldiers to defend South Korea from a DPRK invasion supported by China and the Soviet Union. A 1953 armistice split the Peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. PARK Chung-hee took over leadership of the country in a 1961 coup. During his regime, from 1961 to 1979, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth, with per capita income rising to roughly 17 times the level of North Korea.
South Korea held its first free presidential election under a revised democratic constitution in 1987, with former ROK Army general ROH Tae-woo winning a close race. In 1993, KIM Young-sam (1993-98) became the first civilian president of South Korea's new democratic era. President KIM Dae-jung (1998-2003) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for his contributions to South Korean democracy and his "Sunshine" policy of engagement with North Korea. President PARK Geun-hye, daughter of former ROK President PARK Chung-hee, took office in February 2013 as South Korea's first female leader. In December 2016, the National Assembly passed an impeachment motion against President PARK over her alleged involvement in a corruption and influence-peddling scandal, immediately suspending her presidential authorities. The impeachment was upheld in March 2017, triggering an early presidential election in May 2017 won by MOON Jae-in. South Korea hosted the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in February 2018, in which North Korea also participated. Discord with North Korea has permeated inter-Korean relations for much of the past decade, highlighted by the North's attacks on a South Korean ship and island in 2010, the exchange of artillery fire across the DMZ in 2015, and multiple nuclear and missile tests in 2016 and 2017. North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics, dispatch of a senior delegation to Seoul, and the planned April 27 inter-Korean summit at Panmunjom – the first in 11 years and the first-ever to be held at the inter-Korean border – appear to have ushered in a temporary period of respite.
Economic growth is projected to remain around 3% through 2019, supported by stronger export growth and fiscal stimulus that offset the impact of tighter regulations on housing and mortgage lending, which will slow construction investment. Inflation is projected to rise toward the 2% target, while the current account surplus narrows to around 4% of GDP.
The government's “income-led growth” strategy, driven by increased public employment, a sharp rise in the minimum wage and higher social spending, needs to be supported by structural reforms to narrow large productivity gaps between manufacturing and services, and large and small firms. The fiscal stimulus planned for 2018 is appropriate to support growth, but should be accompanied by a long-term fiscal framework to cope with population ageing, which will be the most rapid among OECD countries. With inflation below target, monetary accommodation should be withdrawn gradually.
Source: OECD - Economic Forecast
|Gross domestic product, constant prices|
|Gross domestic product, current prices|
U.S. dollars (Billions)
|Gross domestic product per capita, current prices|
U.S. dollars (Units)
|Inflation, average consumer prices|
|Volume of imports of goods and services|
|Volume of exports of goods and services|
Percent of total labor force
|Current account balance|
U.S. dollars (Billions)
|Current account balance|
Percent of GDP
Source: IMF Statistics
Luxembourg and the country
Existing conventions and agreements
Non double taxation agreement
In order to promote international economic and financial relations in the interest of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Luxembourg government negotiates bilateral agreements for the avoidance of double taxation and prevent fiscal evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on fortune with third countries.
- Convention from 07.11.1984 (Memorial 1986, A no.47, p. 1451)
- Effective as of 01.01.1984 (Memorial 1986, A no.47, p. 1451)
- Protocol of Amendment from 29.05.2012 (Memorial, A no.144, p.1701)
- Effective as of 04.09.2013 (Memorial, A no.144, p.1701)
Air Services agreement
The Statec Foreign Trade statistics provide information on the trade of goods - by product and by country. This information is collected respectively through the INTRASTAT declaration and on the basis of customs documents.
You can see the statistics on the website of the Statec.
Contact points in South Korea
Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in South Korea
Ambassador with residence in Tokyo:
Mrs Béatrice KIRSCH
Luxembourg House 1F
8-9 Chiyoda-Ku Yonbancho
Tel: +81 3 32 65 96 21
Fax: +81 3 32 65 96 24
Honorary Consul with jurisdiction over the Republic of Korea:
Mr Young-Chul HONG
Tel: +82 2 316 61 01
Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office
Jangkyo Bldg 1102, 1
Jangkyo-Dong, Chung-Ku, Seoul
Tel: +82 2 777 2552
Fax: +82 2 773 2574
Economic and Commercial Attaché (AWEX):
Mr Marc DE VESTELE
737-10, Hannam 2-dong
Yougsan-gu - Seoul 04349
Tel: +82 2 749 50 61
Fax: +82 2 749 21 32
Country risk as defined by Office du Ducroire for South Korea
Ducroire is the only credit insurer covering open account deals in over 200 countries. A rating on a scale from 1 to 7 shows the intensity of the political risk. Category 1 comprises countries with the lowest political risk and category 7 countries with the highest. Macroeconomics experts also assess the repayment climate for all buyers in a country.
Link: ODL - South Korea
Luxembourg for Business market entry guide to South Korea: Market entry guides are brochure series published by the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign. The series focuses on worldwide markets, industries and business environments, providing comprehensive and in-depth analysis and guidelines. The brochures cover all aspects relating to a market entry including the economic, financial and legal frameworks. The brochures are a vast knowledge pool, compiled into a practice oriented document with many tips and important addresses.
Other useful links
- CIA World factbook on South Korea
- Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)
- Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of South Korea
- Korea Chamber of Commerce
- La Corée du Sud sur le site de l'Awex
- Chambre de Commerce franco-coréenne
- Corée Affaires
- Doing Business in South Korea
- Das ist Südkorea
- Economic Freedom Index - South Korea
The Chamber of Commerce and the country