Seoul focus: Reflections on a market with much to offer global investors
South Korea has become an economic powerhouse. In the past half-century, it has transformed from one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the wealthiest. It now has the world’s 13th-largest economy and the fourth-largest GDP in the Asia Pacific region, just behind Australia. Samsung Electronics Co, headquartered in Seoul, is the world’s largest electronics firm as measured by revenue — even bigger than Apple. Ranked by production, the fourth-largest automobile manufacturer in the world is Seoul-based Hyundai Motor Co.
Given all this growth and economic muscle, it is no wonder South Korea, and Seoul in particular, has been attracting increased attention from global real estate investors. But all is not perfect, and some dark clouds are on the horizon. South Korea has the most-rapidly ageing population of any wealthy nation; for example, in 15 years, one in four South Koreans will be over age 65. The country also has on