Plunge Pontificates

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Korea, Change or Stagnate

Interesting article by an economic analysis who has lived in Korea for the past eight years.

"Korea has a lot potential to shine but it needs a final cut to change, just like a diamond ... the final cut takes a lot of work but it's absolutely necessary," said Husaain who joined the Seoul office of Booz Allen Hamilton at the end of 1997 and worked for the global management consulting firm for more than 7 years as a consultant.

He now is Seoul representative of Maxmakers, a Swiss-based management service firm, which develops world-class leisure destinations globally.

The latter part of his book title underlines the daunting task of changing a deep-seated mindset of the public and a rigid hierarchical corporate culture in Korea, he said. "Dilemma means difficult choices. None of them are easy." said Hussain. The economy has no alternative but to pursue drastic change. Maintaining the status quo would leave Korea as a stagnant economy like Japan or Germany, he said.

But aren't many Koreans already familiar with such arguments? Hussain nodded in agreement but argued: "I don't think Koreans understand how much change they will need."
I think he nailed that one on the head. Korea has got to change, has got to make international business and investment easier. With China on the move and growing swiftly, Korea will be left behind if it doesn't make some changes soon.