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The two main presidential candidates -- Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition People Power Party, left, and Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party -- are pledging to run the economy in a way that facilitates innovation while providing a safety net.   © Nikkei montage/Source photos by Reuters
Asia Insight

Innovate or die: Korea Inc. faces harsh choice as election looms

Nation's next president tasked with reshaping export-oriented economy

STEVEN BOROWIEC, Contributing writer | South Korea

ULSAN, South Korea -- Shipbuilding executive Yoo Byeong-yong is refitting his business to stay afloat in the choppy waters of the world's pandemic-pummelled economy.

Like many corporate leaders of mainstay industries in South Korea, Yoo's company -- the country's biggest shipbuilder -- is looking to go green and innovate in a bid to revitalize an economy that has slowed since rapid growth from the 1960s to 1990s. The two main candidates for the March 9 presidential election are both seeking such an economic transition.

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