Edited by Harry W. Richardson, Chang-Hee Christine Bae and Sang-Chuel Choe
Chapter 19: The Role of Economic Regions and Metropolitan Economies in Korea’s Regional Policy
Soon Nam Jung INTRODUCTION The world has entered ‘the era of regional competition’, moving from ‘international competition among nations’. The world is passing into a new era where regions become the mainstream spatial units. The global economy will be dominated by 30 major urban regions with 8–12 million inhabitants each instead of the G7 countries. Forty global mega-regions currently account for 18 percent of the world population, 66 percent of the economic power, and 85 percent of the technological innovations across the globe, while Kenichi Ohmae, the Japanese economic analyst, asserts in his book The End of the Nation State (1995) that a regional state (a regional cluster within a nation state) emerges as a superior spatial unit in the face of global competition. The global economy is witnessing, not only in theory but also in practice, a new phenomenon where regional competitiveness wields enormous influence over national competitiveness. China, a formerly socialist country, is absorbing 45 percent of the world’s total investment capital, and regional economic regions like the Shanghai and Beijing metropolitan areas are developed as ‘local empires’ in which gross regional domestic product (GRDP) per capita exceeds US$10 000. In the process of socioeconomic environmental transformation, regions have now become protagonists as independent economic units to compete fiercely in inducing industry, capital and manpower to move to international and domestic locations. The global economy is currently undergoing a conceptual transition from national units like the US, China and Japan to regional units like New York,...
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