Latest Issue

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…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect