U.S. magazine Foreign Affairs included Korea among six top markets in the world for global investors over the next five years. The list also includes Mexico, Poland, Turkey, Indonesia and the Philippines and the Mekong River region and is based on the size of the country, recent economic performance and growth potential.
Foreign Affairs said these regions have huge growth potential at a time when China's economy and the international markets show tapering growth and that they will take on increasingly important roles in the global economy over the next five years.
The magazine said that Korea and Poland benefit from strong leadership and access to major markets and that referring to them as emerging markets is "a bit of an anachronism" now. The economies of the two countries are led by the manufacturing industry and "remain attractive to investors."
Quoting economic experts, Foreign Affairs also cited potential risks. Marcus Noland of the Peterson Institute for International Economics said Korea faces "challenges" like an aging population, income disparity, the North Korean threat and slowed economic growth in China, its top export market.
He cited an unexpected security threat or sudden reunification of the two Koreas are real risks to foreign businesses seeking to operate here. He forecast that South Korea would have to spend at least W1 trillion (US$1=W1,056) if the North implodes.