50 Years of Korean Export History with KOTRA
This June, Korea has joined the “20-50 Club”, an honor given to countries with a population exceeding 50 million, and a per capita income exceeding US$20,000. Korea was the 7th nation in the world to join.
Looking back, Korea has surely come a long way in terms of development and certainly in terms of technology. After the Korean War ended in 1953, most of the factories were burnt down and the country seemed to have little hope. Now, however, Korea is a technology leader with products sold around the world by its large global conglomerates.
So who is behind this success? One of the main contributors is the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, shortened to KOTRA, which was established in 1962 to promote trade. It has worked successfully to facilitate Korea’s rapid export-led economic development.
This year marks KOTRA’s 50th anniversary. I’d like to share some pictures taken at a special exhibit for this anniversary, which show the immense progress Korea and its companies have made.
As we mentioned on our earlier post, Korean Airline was appointed as the world’s most innovative airline. Korean Airline’s first flight took place in 1962 and as you can see from the below picture, it surely ignited some excitement as people dressed in black uniforms are seated to see the moment.
Do you own a Hyundai Vehicle? The below image is the Pony, the first vehicle that Hyundai Motors manufactured in 1975. The vibrant blue and red colors are very eye-catching. Today’s Hyundai cars are much more refined but Koreans tend to prefer them in black, white or silver.
POSCO, the multinational steel-making company was founded because in order to ahchieve self-sufficient economic growth, Korean needed its own steel technology. Now the company is the fifth largest steelmaker in the world. Korea has other high-tech steelmakers as well, fueling domestic industries like automobiles and shipbuilding.
Did you know that LG started as GoldStar? The below picture captures a scene of factory workers manufacturing GoldStar computers in 1983. LG has evolved and now is recognized for some of the best looking (and most advanced) electronics in the world. While it’s better known for it’s TVs, air conditioners, appliances and mobile phones today, the company still makes computers too.