본문

KDI연구

KDI연구원들이 각 분야의 전문보고서를 제공합니다.

거시

Working Paper

Import Liberalization and Industrial Adjustment in Korea

페이스북
커버이미지
  • 저자 양수길(楊秀吉)
  • 발행일 1986/12/01
  • 시리즈 번호 8613
원문보기
요약 In this paper, we have examined the content of Korea's
current import liberalization program as well as patterns of
adjustment of industries and firms to that liberalization. The
program was adopted and strengthened as an approach to the
promotion of industrial adjustment, especially in heavy industry
where government intervention and protection had nurtured
inefficient and excessive import substitution. Its continuation in
the early 1980s caused and acrimonious import liberalization
debate at home.

It turns out that so far the program has failed to affect
broad industrial adjustment. The program is largely a program
of liberalization of general discretionary import licensing on
manufactures and it has taken place in the presence of relatively
high tariffs, and other instruments of contingency protection,
Further, gradual liberalization over a number of years according
to an adjustable advance notice is its salient characteristic. Thus,
the program leaves a level of protection that is still rather high,
and makes it easy to postpone real import liberalization while
adjustment remains difficult. Besides, the program has not been
completed yet.

For all these reasons, the program has had a limited impact,
and the adjustment problems of those industries with a long
history of protection have not yet been seriously addressed. This
makes the earlier debate rather meaningless in retrospect.

Nevertheless, the program has had moderately significant
impact. Specifically, there seems to have been a substantial
import liberalization and increased actual imports in the upstream
heavy industry products. This liberalization has improved
international competitiveness of the downstream products and
promoted exports and intra-industry international specialization in
heavy industry.

The mores general impact seems to have taken place mainly
through the announcement effect and the accompanying
governmental promotion in intra-firm adjustment. While the
speed of adjustment was often considerably moderated with
offsetting protection, some curtailed their operations, and a larger
number of firms seem to have tries to gain international
competitiveness through technological and other efforts. This
suggests that with continuing and credible import liberalization
efficiency gains and dynamic benefits will continue to accrue.

The above finding implies that too much concern with costs
of adjustment will be costly in itself. Some costs of adjustment
will habe to be incurred to reap the static and dynamic
efficiency gain, There is no painless adjustment although there
need not be a mass dislocation of industries either.

With the completion of the current import liberalization
program in 1988, domestic industries will face heavier pressure
for adjustment. Still, there will remain at least three other walls
of protection to be brought down. One includes the
import-source diversification and import surveillance systems;
the second one is the level of general tariffs on manufactures;
and the third is agricultural protection. While there obviously are
serious obstacles to the removal of the third one, this does not
seems to be the case with the other two. Even when the two
are gone, the contingency tariff protection will be more than
enough to secure necessary protection of domestic industries,
provided that it is to be addressed to the just causes.

Furthermore, it is worth emphasizing that Korea's recent
experiences with the balance of payments bear out that the right
exchange-rate policy complements the trade policy in a crucial
way. It is important as an instrument of the adjustment of the
level of imports as well as the balance on the trade and current
accounts.

Finally, it needs to be acknowledged that the present paper
is not a fully satisfactory study of the impact of import
liberalization. Future research in this field should collect and
explore a considerable amount of objective information about the
reactions of individual firms producing specific commodities to
import liberalization. needless to say, the necessary information
includes knowledge about the nominal and effective protection
and the way it has been changing over time, as well as detailed
production trade and employment statistics.
같은 주제 자료 이 내용과 같은 주제를 다루고 있는 자료입니다.

※문의사항 미디어운영팀 윤정애 전문연구원 044-550-4450 yoon0511@kdi.re.kr

가입하신 이동통신사의 요금제에 따라
데이터 요금이 과다하게 부가될 수 있습니다.

파일을 다운로드하시겠습니까?
KDI 연구 카테고리
상세검색