Posts tagged ‘market entry’
February 21, 2011
On 21 February 2011, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) stated that it expects software exports to increase by around 17.1 percent to a total of USD10.7 billion in 2011. Despite the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) manufacturing being a major driver of export growth in Korea, the ICT services sector has not made a commensurate contribution. Read more
January 29, 2011
On 28 January 2011, the Korean Statistical Information Service (KOSIS) reported that national rice consumption fell to a record low level in 2010.
Average annual consumption per person fell 1.6 percent from the previous year to 72.8 kilograms, meaning average annual consumption per person has declined by approximately 22 percent over a ten-year period. This follows a November 2010 report by KOSIS that national rice production had fallen to the lowest level in almost 30 years due to excessive rains and decreased rice acreage.
KOSIS accorded the decline in consumption to the diversification of the Korean diet, noting the increase in the consumption of wheat based alternatives, but failed to mention supply constraints resulting from the record low levels in national rice production.
Rice consumption in Korea is still significantly higher in Korea than in Japan and Taiwan and the substantial differences between geographic, generational and urban/rural consumption indicate that wheat based alternatives will rise in the medium term.
January 24, 2011
On 24 January 2011, President Lee met with leaders of the country’s top 30 companies at a luncheon hosted by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI).
The meeting was marked by announcements that the companies would aim to invest more than USD98.3 billion, create 100,000 new jobs and achieve an export target of USD500 billion in 2011. A key component of the investment plans is the creation of research and development centres to incubate technologies to provide future economic growth.
Also notable was the companies appreciation of Lee’s statement that partnerships between conglomerates and small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to create sustainable economic growth should come through voluntary action rather than government regulation.
The meeting with the top 30 companies was the sixth since taking office and will be followed by a meeting with leaders of SMEs on 26 January 2011, which will focus on increasing both competitiveness and cooperation. The success of the meeting with SMEs will influence public perceptions of Lee, reflecting concerns that the CEO-turned-President has vested interests in protecting the top companies’ positions in the market.
January 21, 2011
On 18 January 2011, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MIFAFF) announced its third five-year ‘green farming’ development program, which will inject USD4.46 billion until 2015 to expand eco-friendly farming infrastructure and to facilitate a ‘green farming’ environment.
The plan will create up to 50 dedicated eco-friendly farming regions, which will increase chemical-free production areas from 4.9 percent of all arable land in 2009 to 12 percent within 5 years. Importantly, the plan will also upgrade distribution and sales systems to increase consumer awareness of domestic green agricultural production.
The announcement received minimal media attention with current domestic and international media clearly focused on the Ministry’s efforts to control the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak. However, the announcement will have a substantial impact on the sector.
The ‘wellbeing’ trend in Korean consumption has to date primarily benefitted importers of clean green produce. The underlying efforts to increase consumer confidence in locally grown food may expand the sub-sector, but will ultimately raise the competitiveness of local produce vis-a-vis imports.
January 13, 2011
On 12 January 2011, Minister for Strategy and Finance, Yoon Jeung-Hyun, stated that Korea needed to strengthen its economic fundamentals to prepare for fiercer competition in the post-crisis era.
Yoon noted that Korea entered the post-crisis era with solid fundamentals, including the achievement of economic growth over 6 percent growth and the successful hosting of the G-20 summit, but had to make efforts to resolve underlying economic and social problems.
One aspect covered by Yoon, was the need to change Korea’s position on immigration. Korea’s population will fall from 2018.
Currently, one out of every nine Koreans is elderly (over 65). By 2018, 14 percent of the population will be elderly. By 2050, 38 percent of the population will be elderly. This will put Korea in the same league as Spain, Italy and Japan. The more rapid aging that Korea will experience will bring substantial changes to the economy.
In terms of labour supply alone, there will be a deficit of entry level workers and an oversupply of senior and retiring workers. Immigration has been viewed as one possible solution. Minister Yoon proposed the creation of an immigration planning agency to coordinate a whole-of-government approach to immigration. It would seek to minimise social disruption and maximise economic benefit.
Korea has to date only just begun to face the challenge of an aging society. An immigration planning agency would provide better control over what has to date been viewed as a vital component to address the challenge of an ageing society.
January 12, 2011
It was announced on 10 January 2011 that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) has established two teams of China experts and language specialists under its department handling Chinese affairs in an effort to strengthen diplomacy.
An analytical team will report on political, economic and foreign affairs developments in China, and a monitoring team consisting of seven language specialists will report on public sentiment in China.
The Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS), a think-tank affiliated to MOFAT, last month launched a centre dedicated to China affairs, which will act as a hub to collate research on China undertaken in Korea.
In March 2011, China will release its next 5-year economic plan and throughout 2011, political positioning between the ‘populist’ and ‘elitist’ factions within the fifth generation leadership will increase as China heads towards leadership transition in 2012-13.
Reflecting this, 2011 will prove to be a defining year for China’s impact on Korea in economic, political and strategic terms. The refining of MOFAT’s China capabilities will allow stronger coordination of policy towards China as these developments occur.