South Korea as an Emerging Asian Donor

  • Barbara Stallings
  • Eun Mee Kim
Part of the Development Cooperation and Non-Traditional Security in the Asia-Pacific book series (DCNTSAP)


Chapter 3 is an analysis of South Korea, the smallest of the three East Asian donors, which transformed itself from a very poor country into an important donor. As a recent member of the “donor club,” it has adopted some Western aid characteristics to burnish its reputation and has hosted several large international meetings. The first section of the chapter traces Korea’s move from aid recipient to donor. The second looks at the goals of the current aid policy. The third analyzes the characteristics of aid and its complementarity with foreign investment (FDI) and trade. The fourth examines the relationship between the aid program and domestic politics. The fifth studies the links between Korean aid and the international and regional aid systems.


  1. Kang, S.J. (2013). ‘ODA Policy of the Park Guen-hye Administration: Tasks and Prospects,’ IFANS Brief 2013–09 (Seoul: Korea National Diplomatic Academy).Google Scholar
  2. KDI (Korea Development Institute) (2010–2015) Modularization of Korea’s Development Experience (Seoul: KDI). Reports were published for different sectors as well as for different recipient countries.Google Scholar
  3. KIEP (Korea Institute for International Economic Policy) (2013) KIEP World Economy Update 3 (40).Google Scholar
  4. Kim, E.M. (1997) Big Business, Strong State: Collusion and Conflict in South Korean Development, 1960–1990 (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press).Google Scholar
  5. Kim, E.M., and J.E. Lee (2013) ‘Busan and Beyond: South Korea and the Transition from Aid Effectiveness to Development Effectiveness,’ Journal of International Development 25, 787–801.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kim, E. M., and J. Oh (2012) ‘Determinants of Foreign Aid: The Case of South Korea,’ Journal of East Asian Studies 12(2), 251–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kim, J., and E.M. Kim (2015) ‘Postwar Reconstruction: Foreign Aid from the United States and South Korea’s Space for Developing Capacity and Strengthening Ownership,’ in M.J. Moon et al. (eds.) Korea and the World: Contemporary History and Its Implications (Seoul: National Museum of Korean Contemporary History).Google Scholar
  8. Kim, E.M., J.H. Kim, and J.E. Lee (2014) ‘Aid Effectiveness and Fragmentation: Changes in Global Aid Architecture and South Korea as an Emerging Donor’, in E.M. Kim and P.H. Kim (eds.) The South Korean Development Experience: Beyond Aid (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan), 65–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) (n.d.) ‘Country Partnership Strategy for Vietnam 2011–2015’ (Seoul: KOICA)Google Scholar
  10. Korea Eximbank (Export-Import Bank of Korea) (2014) ‘Small- and Medium-Size Enterprises and International Procurement with the Economic Development Cooperation Fund,’ press release, May 29 (Seoul: Export-Import Bank of Korea).Google Scholar
  11. Korea MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Korea) (2011) Han-River Declaration of Establishing the Mekong-ROK Comprehensive Partnership for Mutual Prosperity (Seoul: MOFA).Google Scholar
  12. Korea MOFA (2015) ROK-Mekong Business Forum (Seoul: MOFA).Google Scholar
  13. Lee, K.K. (2004) ‘Development Aid and Cooperation to South Korea: A Review of ODA for South Korea as a Recipient and Case Studies,’ KOICA Research Reports (Seoul: KOICA) (in Korean).Google Scholar
  14. Macdonald, D.S. (1992) US–Korean Relations from Liberation to Self-Reliance: The Twenty-Year Record (Boulder, CO: Westview Press).Google Scholar
  15. OECD (2005) Second High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (Paris: OECD).Google Scholar
  16. OECD (2008a) Special Review on Development Cooperation of the Republic of Korea (Paris: OECD).Google Scholar
  17. OECD (2012a) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Peer Review of Korea (Paris: OECD).Google Scholar
  18. OECD (2012b) Proposed Mandate for the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (Paris: OECD).Google Scholar
  19. PMO (Prime Minister’s Office, Korea) (2014) 2014 Korea’s Official Development Assistance White Paper (Sejong, Korea: Prime Minister’s Office).Google Scholar
  20. PMO (2016a) 2017 ‘International Development Cooperation Comprehensive Action Plan’ (Sejong, Korea: Prime Minister’s Office, Committee for International Development Cooperation) (in Korean).Google Scholar
  21. PMO (2016b) ‘Master Plan for the Four Major ODA Initiatives’ (Sejong, Korea: Prime Minister’s Office, Committee for International Development Cooperation) (in Korean).Google Scholar
  22. Williamson, J. (1990) Latin American Adjustment: How Much Has Happened? (Washington DC: Institute for International Economics).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Stallings
    • 1
  • Eun Mee Kim
    • 2
  1. 1.Watson Institute for International and Public AffairsBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of International StudiesEwha Womans UniversitySeoulKorea (Republic of)

Personalised recommendations