Strategic Choices in Science and Technology

Korea in the Era of a Rising China

by Somi Seong, Steven W. Popper, Kungang Zheng

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Abstract

Active investment in China, finding more market opportunities in China, and strengthening the cooperative relationship with China have so far been successful paths for Korean companies and the government to take in response to China’s new economic might. It is uncertain whether Korea can maintain its market position in both Chinese and world markets in the future as China becomes more competitive in many industries where Korea currently has a relative advantage. What should Korea do to confront these uncertainties and to maintain its economic dynamism? What would be appropriate strategies and policies for Korea to pursue, particularly in science and technology? This study develops a simple model of the Korean economy and four alternative S&T strategies that Korea could follow and shows how those strategies may affect Korean prosperity, explicitly considering the many uncertainties that Korea confronts. Using the metric of average annual rate of growth in GDP per capita for Korea during the period leading to 2015, the authors assess each strategy for performance across an ensemble of 100 future scenarios.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Korea’s Main Economic Concerns About a Rising China

  • Chapter Three

    Current Technological Capability: S&T Indicators and Trends

  • Chapter Four

    China’s National Innovation System and R&D Strategies

  • Chapter Five

    Future Prospects and Options for Korea

  • Chapter Six

    Future Scenarios

  • Chapter Seven

    Conclusion

  • Appendix A

    Additional Specifications for the Model of the Korean National Economy

  • Appendix B

    Major National S&T Programs in China: Objectives and Resources

Research conducted by

This research was prepared for the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Evaluation and Planning and was performed by the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy.

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