The 2010 International Study Mission, produced by the Greater Seattle Chamber and the Trade Development Alliance, is to Daejeon and Seoul, South Korea this week. I think we sometimes forget what a success story Korea is, but the country’s accomplishments are impressive.
In the early 1960s, Korea’s per capita income was about $100. Today it’s over $20,000. In 50 years, per capita income has grown 200x.
Korea is the 4th largest economy in Asia. The Economist has pointed out that its economy is bigger than India’s, even though its population is 1/20th of India’s.
Its technological advances are highly impressive. In our first stop, at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, we saw the next generation of technology. They demonstrated thin film wearable solar panels, robots for people with disabilities, technology to allow deaf people to hear through resonance rather than sound waves, and other advanced products. Many of these will find their way to our markets in the next few years.
Our week promises to teach us a great deal, and expose us to even more advanced technologies. More posts to come.