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Hallyu’s economic impact reaches 37 trillion won

Posted July. 11, 2023 07:59,   

Updated July. 11, 2023 07:59


According to an analysis, the spread of the Korean Wave, or Hallyu, has boosted exports and contributed to job creation. This suggests that the worldwide craze for Korean culture has positively impacted the real economy beyond its cultural influence.

On Monday, the Korea Economic Research Institute unveiled its analysis of the economic impact of the Korean Wave. The study revealed that the increased exports of Hallyu items, such as cosmetics, music, and shows, from 2017 to 2021 had an economic impact totaling 37 trillion won based on the production inducement amount. The production inducement amount represents the ripple effects on the entire industry, including production, employment, and added value.

Hallyu has significantly increased exports of content and consumer goods such as cosmetics and processed foods. From 2017 to 2021, the average annual export growth rate of these Hallyu items was 13.7%, which is about 2.5 times higher than the average annual growth rate of total Korean exports (5.4%) during the same period.

The Hallyu craze is not only boosting Korea's economic impact but also significantly enhancing its cultural influence. According to the U.S. News and Wharton School's Global Cultural Influence Rankings, South Korea's cultural influence has risen by an impressive 24 spots, ascending from 31st in the world in 2017 to 7th in 2022. Notably, Switzerland was ranked 8th, the United Kingdom 6th, and Spain 5th in the same rankings.

It has also made a significant contribution to job creation. Between 2017 and 2021, a total of 160,000 jobs were generated thanks to the Korean Wave. Out of these, 116,000 were a result of increased exports of consumer goods, while 44,000 were due to increased exports of cultural content. This figure of 160,000 jobs represents approximately 20 percent of the total increase in the number of employed Koreans last year, which amounted to about 820,000.

"The Korean Wave makes a significant contribution to boosting exports and employment,” said Choo Gwang-ho, the head of the Economic Policy Department at the Korea Economic Research Institute. “It is crucial that we proactively expand financial support for the cultural content industry and undertake initiatives to enhance its infrastructure."