Comparative Development Strategies of South Korea and Taiwan as Reflected in Their Respective International Trade Policies

This paper examines the interplay of economic development and trade policies in South Korea and Taiwan. Although many differences exist between the two states, both have identified economic development as a central national policy goal linked explicitly to national security, even national survival. Both have targeted international trade as a key means of promoting economic development. Thus, trade policy, broadly defined, has served as one of the principal components of their economic development strategies. Of course, many other factors impinge upon trade policy formation – the national imperatives against which all policy must be weighed, economic opportunities and constraints, the domestic political process through which societal interests and pressures are managed, and the international political process through which competing interests are accommodated – but far more than in most other developing states, trade policy in Korea and Taiwan has given primacy to economic growth.