This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the Bank of Korea. For sixty years, the Bank of Korea has done its utmost to contribute to development of the Korean economy, through various stages of growth, to its present level. Through its proactive monetary and credit policies, the Bank of Korea has repeatedly striven to bring the Korean economy quickly on a stable growth in the aftermath of the atastrophe of the Korean War, which broke out soon after its establishment, and economic setback including the twin oil shocks of the 1970s, the late 1990s currency crisis, and the recent global financial crisis. When Korea attained membership in the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 1955, its per capita gross national income was a mere 65 U.S. dollars. The Bank of Korea helped greatly in the country's escaping the shackles of impoverishment and achieving truly remarkable economic growth, as evinced now by its assumption of the position of G-20 chair in 2010.
In order for the Korean economy to now join the ranks of the advanced economies in the years ahead, successful tackling of many challenges is imperative. In the wake of the recent global financial crisis the world economy is now seeking a new paradigm, and Korea must cope with these circumstances in a proactive manner. It should play a leading role in coordinating the opinions of industrialized nations and emerging market countries and forging a consensus within the framework of international cooperation. Cementing the foundation for a stable macro economy and increasing growth potential are also crucial in grappling with the rising uncertainties in the global economy, ncluding fiscal deterioration of major industrialized countries. In consideration of such economic conditions at home and abroad, the Bank of Korea, as a central bank charged with leading development of its national economy, now carries a heavier responsibility than at any other time in its history.
On the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the Bank of Korea, we are proud to publish The Bank of Korea: A Sixty-Year History, to look back over the course of development of the Korean economy and the Bank of Korea during the past sixty years, and to brace ourselves for whatever challenges the future may hold. It is hoped that this work will be of significant help in broadening the understanding of the history of Korea's central banking system as well as the country's monetary and credit policies. I would like, finally, to very sincerely thank all those involved in its publication.
Seoul, October 2010
Governor, the Bank of Korea