The chemical industry of South Korea: Progress and challenges

Il Moon, Jae Hyun Cho

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Challenges facing the chemical industry of South Korea in its quest to become leader in the world market are discussed. South Korea exported $35.7 billion worth of petrochemicals in 2010, which represented 7.7% of the country's total exports. Imports totaled $13.3 billion, accounting for 3.1% of all imports. South Korea's current commodity petrochemical industry finds itself sandwiched between the massive production of developing countries like China and rapid progress of Middle East countries like the United Arab Emirates. To ensure its competitiveness, the development of advanced core technologies has become a main objective of the South Korean petrochemical industry. Recently, impressive achievements in high-value-added technology applications have been reported in the fields of catalysts and related process technologies. Between the 1960s and 1990s, the South Korean chemical industry grew at an average annual rate of 7-8% from 2000 to 2010, the growth rate accelerated to annual rate of 12.5% due to increased production of value-added products.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationChemical Engineering Progress
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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