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Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 05:46 GMT 06:46 UK

Korea's economic boom

By Stuart Roach
Our man in Korea

South Korea's landmark victory over Poland on Tuesday has given the Republic a massive economic boost, according to reports here.

The Hyundai Research Institute (HRI) estimates the historic victory - South Korea's first in a World Cup finals - could have far reaching economic benefits.

Increases in domestic consumption and a boost in brand power for Korean products are among the biggest predicted economic gains.

The report believes Korea's victory will generate about 14 trillion won (about 7.8 billion) in direct and indirect gains.

Per-capita spending by the 47 million people in Korea is expected to double.

Financial experts in the Republic also believe that Korea can ride the wave of national emotion to lift the country's economic profile on a global scale.

"We hope the exploding energy stemming from the World Cup victory will be channelled into the national economy," Korea International Trade Association chairman Kim Jae-chul told the Korea Herald newspaper.

Kim Kak-choong, chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries, added: "Taking a cue from the soccer players' self-confidence, autonomy and creativity, local business circles are determined to lift the Korean economy to the status of the World's big eight powers."

Korea enjoyed a massive economic boost after the hosting of the 1988 Olympics and is expected to repeat the giant steps forward in the wake of the World Cup.

The tournament is expected to generate at least 12 trillion won (about 6.7 billion) in production and job gains alone.

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