By comparing development cooperation of China, Japan and Korea vis-?-vis Cambodia, this study strives to draw some policy implications for Korea’s development cooperation vis-?-vis Cambodia as well as Korea’s overall ODA policy.
In terms of the size of ODA, China overtook Korea in 2004 and came closer in 2009 to the level of Japan, which was the top bilateral ODA donor to Cambodia. However, China’s ODA consisted mostly of concessional loans. The said concessional loans were much larger than grants in Korea’s ODA, while grants were much more important than concessional loans in Japan’s ODA.
The financing structure of ODA was also reflected in the distribution of ODAs by purpose. In general, bilateral ODAs were mainly used for social infrastructure and services. However, China’s ODA went mainly to economic infrastructure and services, and road construction in particular. A greater portion of Korea’s ODA was destined for economic infrastructure and services than social infrastructure and services, whereas Japan’s ODA was equally destined for economic and social infrastructure and services.
Thus, although aid from China, Japan and Korea was helpful for road construction, which was a particularly weak area for Cambodia; the three countries’ support for education and health, which were also weak, were very limited. Among the three countries, Japan contributed much more to education and health than Korea, while China did not contribute at all.
In terms of correlation between ODA and economic ties, it seems that there exists some correlation between China’s ODA and her economic ties, while Korea’s case was still too early to tell given the modest scale of its ODA. As for Japan, there was no correlation between them.
The size of Korea’s ODA is smaller than those of Japan and China, and in terms of development cooperation experiences, Korea is in-between. Under these circumstances, one of the most important tasks of Korea’s ODA policy will be how to differentiate Korea’s ODA from theirs. In this regard, this study suggests the following policy implications: First, we have to differentiate our ODA from China’s by reducing substantially aid destined for road construction. Second, we have to change our focus from building of “hard” infrastructure to “soft” infrastructure and services such as human resource development and health-related areas, where Korea has some comparative advantage. Third, in order to change our focus from hard infrastructure to one dominated by soft infrastructure, we should increase grants relative to concessional loans.
- 한·중·일 3국의 대캄보디아 개발협력 비교연구
- 이창재, 정재완, 방호경