Fuelling Development? The Rise of New Development Finance in Korea’s Overseas Energy Cooperation with Southeast Asia

  • Soyeun KimEmail author
  • Yeji Yoo
Original Article


‘Aid world’ has undergone critical changes and reforms to reconfigure the relationship between the role of private sector instruments and broadly defined development cooperation. Against the backdrop of the global/Euro financial crisis, development cooperation has become increasingly susceptible to financial instruments, logic, and actors. Such deepening of the financialisation–development nexus has been linked to the rise of the beyond aid agenda and the new and innovative development financing at its heart. Using the case of Korea’s energy development cooperation with Southeast Asia, our analysis shows how the keen take on the beyond aid agenda has further advanced the Korean government’s position on the utility of aid to pursue ‘national interests’ and ‘co-prosperity’. Also, our findings indicate that the Korean government mobilises both aid and other public finance to serve the national interests of (corporate) capital accumulation in the name of development.


Development finance Private sector Aid Financialisation Korea Xepian-Xenamnoy Cirebon 


Le ‘monde de l’aide’ a subi des changements et des réformes critiques visant à reconfigurer la relation entre le rôle des instruments du secteur privé et la coopération au développement définie au sens large. Sur fond de crise financière mondiale/de l’Euro, la coopération au développement est devenue de plus en plus sensible aux instruments, à la logique et aux acteurs de la finance. Cet approfondissement du lien entre financiarisation et développement est lié à la montée en puissance de l’agenda “au-delà de l’aide” et aux nouveaux mécanismes innovants de financement du développement qui le sous-tendent. En nous basant sur le cas de la coopération coréenne en matière de développement énergétique avec l’Asie du Sud-Est, notre analyse montre en quoi l’accent mis sur l’agenda “au-delà de l’aide” a permis de faire progresser la position du gouvernement coréen sur l’utilité de l’aide pour la poursuite des « intérêts nationaux » et de la « coprospérité » . De plus, nos résultats indiquent que le gouvernement coréen mobilise à la fois l’aide et d’autres finances publiques pour servir les intérêts nationaux visant à accumuler le capital (des entreprises) au nom du développement.



The authors would like to thank Jamie Doucette, Kevin Gray, Luis Mah, and Emma Mawdsley for their generous comments and help with the earlier version of this paper. Soyeun Kim was supported by Sogang University [research grant 201510049.01].

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for East Asian Studies, Sogang UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Faculty of Social SciencesChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand

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