South Korea’s Looming Crisis by Lee Jong-Wha – Project Syndicate

Yet South Korea is now beset by some of the same structural problems Japan faced during its two decades of stagnation: rapid population aging, labor-market inefficiency, institutional weakness, and low productivity in the service sector.

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In the 1990s, South Korea waited for matters to come to a head before responding. This time, it must nip the incipient crisis in the bud. That means accelerating domestic structural reforms to improve productivity, enhance labor-market efficiency, upgrade institutions, and foster a business environment that supports modern service industries and innovative start-ups. It also means strengthening both economic and diplomatic ties with major countries, while working with the US and China, in particular, to end the North Korean nuclear standoff.

South Korea’s Looming Crisis by Lee Jong-Wha – Project Syndicate