Getting Out of “Emerging Economy” Status: Korea’s Endgame Korea’s major exporters have done remarkably well even during the depths of the financial crisis, and especially compared to Japanese firms. This success is attributable to both continuing government export promotion, changes in production techniques, and structural issues at Japanese rivals. Korean firms, however, still face the important challenge of becoming real innovators.

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Japan’s “Lost Two Decades” and “Fiscal Crisis”

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China’s Local Government Debt Crisis Though China is one of the world’s largest creditor nations, its local governments have accumulated worrisome amounts of debt. Tax system changes and the global financial crisis have spurred excessive borrowing, while state owned enterprises have squeezed out the private sector. China will need to take measures to ensure that its local government debt does not become a liability for its still booming economy.

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Young Businesses for an Older Generation Korea’s baby boomers are set to redefine retirement, presenting new opportunities for companies seeking to serve them. Baby boomers will seek new kinds of leisure and healthcare, as well as active relationships with their families and communities. Companies seeking to market anti-aging, travel, and knowledge sharing services can benefit handsomely.

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New Trends among Young Chinese Consumers China’s young consumers are the first to grow up amidst prosperity and widespread digital technology and represent a significant change for the world’s second largest economy. Shaped by demographic factors like the one child policy and urbanization, China’s young consumers are embracing individuality and social concerns along with their love for famous brands.

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Korea’s Development and Its Significance to Chinese Reform Korea’s rapid transformation from poverty to prosperity in the space of a single generation has attracted intense interest from emerging nations seeking to develop their economies, China in particular. Korea’s advantages in its early development came from its mix of state sponsored and private development, its investment in technology, and its temporary freedom from democratic constraints.

Korea Needs to Groom More Top Scientists and Engineers Aggressive efforts by many nations to recruit science and technology talent have put the spotlight on Korea’s own workforce. New industries like green energy, robotics, biomedicine, and nanotechnology will require highly skilled personnel, but Korea is coming up short in these promising areas. New initiatives like Korea’s "10,000 Plus Plan," and investments in basic research are trying to address these gaps.

Household Debt: Latent Risk in Korea Korean households have continued to accumulate debt even after the global financial crisis. Most of this has come in the form of home mortgage loans and non-bank lending, making Korea's households extremely susceptible to changes in interest rates and a decline in home prices. The time has come for Korea to contain the rise in household debt before it reaches dangerous levels.

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The Global Debt Crisis and Northeast Asia The major economies of the world now have levels of debt seldom seen before. In Europe, a full blown crisis in the EU has been temporarily averted, while underlying problems remain. In Northeast Asia, Japan continues to reach record high levels of government debt; while China amasses huge debts among its local governments. Korea suffers record debt levels among its households, making debt a pressing issue for societies all around.

Japan’s Position in East Asia’s IT Industrial Networks Asia’s most established IT power has shown remarkable ability to adapt to and profit from changes in the industry. Though Japan began in the industry by building complete products that it exported to the West, today Japan is the main supplier of IT components to Asia. Japanese firms, with their long experience, maintain a commanding lead in the components that Asia uses to build its IT exports.

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