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Is it time to retire the term “developing country”?

Confusion over this terminology has real-world consequences

By Jessica Abrahams  

Udo Bernhart/DPA/PA Images

Is South Korea—the 12th biggest economy in the world—a developing country?

It is according to its status at the World Trade Organisation, which entitles the country to certain benefits in trade negotiations. Under pressure from the US, it announced in late October that it will no longer seek to make use of those benefits, though it declined to give up its developing country status, which at the WTO is self-defined. Other economic powers that…

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