On Wednesday July 15, a RCAPS sponsored seminar was held at APU.
The seminar welcomed Professor Duk-Hoon LEE, Ph.D(Visiting Prof. of Faculty of Business & Commerce, Keio Univ. & Prof. at Hannam Univ.). His lecture was titled, "Korea's Economic Development and its Challenges".
On July 15, RCAPS welcomed Professor Duk-Hoon Lee, Professor of Management at Hannam University, who is currently at Keio University as a visiting professor. Professor Lee's seminar was tilted "Korea's Economic Development and its Challenges" in which he discussed South Korea's historical development and evolution of economic development since the 1960's. The seminar was chaired by Professor Drummond who also interpreted for Professor Lee.
Professor Lee opened his seminar by speaking of Samuel P. Huntington and Peter F. Druker, scholars who wrote about South Korea's rapid economic growth. Huntington, he said compared South Korea with Ghana as the two countries had the same GNP in the 1960's. However, Ghana, which had been an even more prosperous country than South Korea was eclipsed by South Korea's economic development by 15 times in 1990, he said. Professor Lee also mentioned how Drucker also wrote of South Korea's economic development and ranked South Korea's entrepreneurship as one of the top in the world.
Professor Lee talked of President Park Chung-hee, a key figure in the history of economic development for South Korea, who came to power in 1961 and executed a "Coup d'etat". The president was generally disliked by the people for his militarization of society, when Professor Lee was young he said. Nonetheless, Professor Lee also talked of how many years later, he realized that "perhaps President Park was not such a bad person after all", and that he was a key figure in the industrialization of South Korea.
As for the evolution of South Korea's development, Professor Lee discussed the Seoul Busan Expressway plan in May 1967, in which 428km of expressway was built in only two years and the importance of the steel industry and the POSTCO plant. By 1995, he said that South Korea was ranked the 11th economic power in the world and was called the "'Frankenstein Economy'" in the Economist. He also discussed the growth of Samsung, the South Korean company that is now replacing Japan's Sony in brand value.
Before finishing his seminar, Professor Lee mentioned a few problems in South Korea's current economic situation; these being the lack in the services sector, despite South Korea's strength in manufacture, the aging society, the dropping entrepreneurship index and spirit in society, and lastly North Korea which still poses a great threat to South Korea's economy.
The seminar was followed by some time for discussion in which students and faculty members who attended the seminar were able to address Professor Lee with their questions and comments.