ABSTRACT

The previous chapter was devoted to describing the remarkable progress Korea has made in economic growth and in expanding the size of its economy over the last four decades. As was shown, this economic development has resulted in a rapid increase of exports and imports. Since the foreign trade of Korea is predominantly carried by sea transport, Korean ports have played a crucial role in the process of economic growth and, therefore, in dealing with the additional seaborne cargoes that have resulted from the development of the national economy. In particular, the ever-growing dependence of Korea's national economy on foreign trade has underlined the importance of its ports to consumers and producers. A widespread maritime connection with overseas countries is, as a consequence, one of the essential prerequisites for national economic growth and development. Korea is fortunate that the recent development and operation of its ports has kept pace with the ever-growing seaborne cargoes that have stemmed mainly from the adoption of an economic policy based on outward-oriented industrialisation. The ports, however, still have several problems that will be discussed in the following sections.