The Quintessential Global Cities No. 12: Seoul

Global City No. 12 Seoul

There are two distinct Koreas, and it’s unlikely you will mistake the two. One is a totalitarian dictatorship with a poor economy, and the other is democratic financial juggernaut. We’re going to the latter. Welcome to South Korea, particularly Seoul.

This Asian Tiger defies the conventional laws of economics. Being in such a volatile area with land access cut off by North Korea, you would expect the country to be impoverished backwater. However, South Korea has focused its energy on what it can do, and they do it very well.

Just one company, Samsung, is responsible for 20% of the entire country’s GDP with interests from electronics and construction, to tourism and shipbuilding. In that last category, South Korea punches above the line. This tiny country is one of the largest ship builders in the world responsible for nearly 30% of the market.

Seoul is the brain and beating heart of this country that is at the cutting edge of all technology. They not only have blazing fast internet and the coolest gadgets but a tech environment that rivals Silicon Valley. There are thriving scenes within the robotics, bio-engineering, microelectronics, and aerospace fields.

In recent years, their automotive sector has taken off like a rocket. Familiar with Hyundai, Kia, and LG? These South Korean brands have taken the world by storm and have brought unimaginable prosperity to the country.
These technological and manufacturing innovations are no accident. Seoul and the rest of the country put a huge emphasis on education, particularly in science fields. This focus has propelled the country’s job market with highly skilled and talented workers who consistently out-perform their foreign counterparts.

Looking for the next big thing? It may already be happening in Seoul.

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