In a new development that could set a precedent for many other countries, the government of South Korea today announced that it is going to voluntarily drop the ‘developing’ nation tag at the World Trade Organization. Over the years, there has been a lot of discussion about the fact that there should be a reclassification of the status of different nations that have managed to grow economies significantly. However, that has not come to pass yet, and hence, the South Korean government took matters into its own hands.
Hong Nam-ki, the finance minister of the country, stated,
It has become difficult for Korea to be recognized as a developing country given its economic status in the international community.
The announcement was made after the completion of a meeting among economic ministers on Friday. The minister spoke about the global opinion about the country as well as the change in its status as a global economic power as the main reason behind the move. The South Korean government has also made a filing at the WTO so that the country can be recategorized.
This particular categorization had been made by the WTO when South Korea joined it back in 1995, and it goes without saying that things have changed significantly since then. At this point in time, it is the fourth biggest economy in Asia and boasts of a per capita income in excess of $30,000. During the time it has also managed to become a member of G20, and it is easy to see why the country’s government has decided to drop the ‘developing country’ status on its own. This particular topic has also caused controversies, and recently the United States President Donald Trump stated that the WTO should stop giving special treatment to certain countries due to their economic status.