GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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GCC Economies toward sustainability: What can be implied from the Korean Experience?
Paper Proposal Text :
The relations between Korea and the GCC countries are evolving into a form of more strategic partnership from a simple hydrocarbon trading. This recently developing multidimensional aspects of the relations are led by the mutual interest of both sides: The six Gulf states are looking for an effective partner for their grand national economic diversification plans while Korea is seeking to broaden its market into the Middle East. The major pact signed by GCC chief Abdullatif Al-Zayani and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byeong-se at a meeting during the 69th UN General Assembly on September 2014 marked the inception of a new level of an inter-regional cooperation between the Arabian Gulf and the Korean peninsula.
With respect to the ‘economic diversification’ of the GCC economies, South Korean development history presents a textbook model for an industrialization process which the GCC countries can make reference to. South Korea has set and implemented a number of national economic plans with evolving objectives and strategies over the incumbency of each then president since the 1960s, which were in fact natural steps needed to be taken in order to improve the economic structure of each decade. This eventually resulted in a rapid and solid economic prosperity from the ashes of the Korean War – The transformation of South Korean economy has been dubbed “miracle of the Han river”. Now, the country has set an array of new economic policies to make another leap toward a “creative economy ”. This new initiatives for the creative economy led by Korean government aims to establish regional and global cooperation systems in order to impact regional development and secure global markets. Importantly, this strategy makes a meaningful subset where the GCC economic diversification plans and the Korean economic renovation initiatives make strong connections to each other under the concept of global partnership.
The main purpose of this paper is to first compare key characteristics of economic diversification model of Korea and the six Gulf countries, and second to attempt to extract useful meanings from the Korean experience for the GCC vision of economic diversification. This paper consists of four sections. The first part lays the rationale of the newly formed cooperation between Korea and the GCC countries for the purpose of economic diversification. The history of Korean industrialization and economic development from the 1960s to the present are explored in the second section. Then, the third portion of the paper compares the economic diversification of the GCC with the Korean experience. Finally, the last section examines what can be suggested from the Korean experience for sustainability of the GCC economies through diversification.