South Korea challenges ahead - OCED

2012-04-26 09:01
Seoul - A rapidly ageing population and a widening income gap pose long-term challenges to South Korea despite its decade of strong growth, the OECD said on Thursday.

Experience showed that high growth was not enough in itself to tackle inequality and relative poverty, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said in a survey.

Asia's fourth biggest economy is performing well but must prepare for challenges that also include the cost of any reunification with North Korea, it said.

The economy grew 0.9% in January-March from October-December, its fastest expansion for a year on a quarterly basis, the country's central bank said on Thursday.

The OECD forecast growth of around 3.5% this year and said the fiscal position is strong.

Affordable childcare

But it stressed the need to boost the workforce as the working-age population starts falling from 2017 in a country with one of the world's lowest birth rates.

More women should be encouraged to work "by encouraging better work-life balance" and expanding affordable childcare, a move that would also increase the fertility rate.

The OECD added that workers who tend to leave firms at age 55 should be encouraged to stay on through more flexible wage systems and a move away from mandatory retirement.

The survey called on South Korea to improve productivity, which was only half the level in the advanced OECD countries, in part by improving the education system.

Early childhood education and care should be upgraded and the over-emphasis on tertiary education should be addressed, although the OECD acknowledged this was difficult in a society that stresses academic credentials.

University education had become the norm regardless of students' capabilities or career preferences, but in recent years only about half the graduates had found regular jobs.

The survey called for an upgrade of vocational training, moves to give poorer children better access to early education and care, and better university admission procedures to reduce reliance on private tutoring.

Growth prospects

The country built its post-war economic miracle on manufacturing for export, which helped it to become the world's largest shipbuilder and fifth largest carmaker.

But the survey said this had been at the expense of its services sector - the second smallest in the OECD - and called for greater competition and efforts to promote restructuring of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Growth prospects also depended on the success of the Green Growth Strategy in transforming the energy-intensive economy.

The OECD called for the speedy introduction of an emissions-trading scheme and also suggested targeted increases in social spending by expanding the earned income tax credit, among other measures.

Labour market "dualism" was a major source of inequality, with "non-regular" workers suffering significantly lower wages, precarious jobs, less social security coverage and less training.

Strict labour laws give "regular" workers greater protection against dismissal and better pay and benefits, while employers cope with labour market rigidity by hiring millions on a "non-regular" basis.

The OECD called for less job protection for regular workers and better social insurance coverage and expanded training for non-regulars.
- SAPA
Read more on:    south korea
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Java Developers

Cape Town
Datafin Recruitment
R15 000 - R25 000 Per Month

PM 20896 - Front End Web Developer

Cape Town
Professional Career Services
R29 000 - R30 000 Per Month

SECRETARY

Western Cape
City Press
R1 420 820 - R1 599 146 Per Year

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to combine imagination, information and creativity together. Try not to over rationalise things and rather...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.