Today, South Korea’s most important exports include semiconductors, wireless telecommunications equipment,
motor vehicles, computers, steel, ships, and petrochemicals. Their most important imports include machinery, electronics and
electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, organic chemicals, and plastics. In 2004, Korea’s largest export
partners were China, U.S., Japan, and Hong Kong, in descending order. Their largest import partners were Japan, China, U.S.,
and Saudi Arabia, in descending order.
According to a 2005 estimate, Korea’s current GDP
per capita is approximately $20,400. Only fifteen percent of the South Korean population is below the poverty line. The currency
is won (1 won = 100 chon), which equals one one-thousandth of an American dollar. Everyday items in South Korea are only a
little cheaper than in the United States. For example, gas prices in Korea are $2.52 per gallon, where today gas prices in
Pennsylvania are coming close to three dollars. Overall, South Korea’s economy is very successful, with famous companies
such as the auto companies, Hyundai and Daewoo, as well as the electronic companies, Samsung and LG.