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South Korea

Capital City: Seoul
%T:%M %A in Seoul
In 2005, the GDP growth rate was lower than in 2004, due to the weak domestic consumption, and the slack of the foreign trade. GDP growth rate was 3.1% in 2003, 4.6% en 2004 and 3.8% in 2005. The IMF forecasts a 5% growth in 2006. Even though South Korea is one of the world's most dynamic economies, it is now undergoing a confidence crisis: households consumption suffers from the consumer credit crisis and is consequently dropping, numerous SMEs are going bankrupt, and crude oil and raw materials prices increase is having an unfavourable impact on economy.

The agricultural sector provides 3.17% of the country's GDP. The main production is rice but the country also produces fruits and vegetables, and cattle-rearing is done on a large scale. South Korea's mining natural resources are mainly limited to gold and silver. Its main industrial activity sectors are textile, steel industry, automobile manufacturing, shipbuilding and electronics (South Korea is the largest producer of semiconductors in the world). The South Korean industrial network is characterized by the predominance of "chaebols" (conglomerates with diverse activities) which account for 75% of South Korean exports. Terciary main activity sectors are transport, electricity and construction.

South Korean economy is strongly export oriented. The country is a member of the OECD, APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) and WTO. Its top three import partners are Japan, the United States and China and its top three export partners are China, the U.S.A and Japan. The country mainly imports mineral products, electrical or electronic goods, machinery and chemical products. Exports mainly consist in electrical and electronic goods, machines, textile products and chemical products.

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