This study analyzes the competitiveness of the Korean textile and electronics industries as well as the changing business environment they are facing, with the objective of finding the appropriate demand-supply structures for these industries’ long-term growth.
The textile and electronics industries have been two of the main economic engines that have been driving Korea’s export-oriented economic growth since the 1960s. The two industries also share a number of characteristics and conditions, including their factor intensities, the comparative advantages of Korea they represent in the world, and the market conditions they face. Although both industries have grown thus far due to the rapid increase in exportation, the number of people employed in these industries is decreasing, while wages are increasing. Their competitors worldwide are likewise based in countries that are undergoing industrialization similar to that of Korea, leaving these two Korean industries vulnerable to increasing rivalry on the international market. Therefore, the key goal these two Korean industries should pursue is to improve their competitiveness through the transformation of their manufacturing structure.
The textile industry has been by far the fastest-growing Korean industry since the 1960s. The pace of the growth, however, has significantly slowed since 1970, with little innovation taking place beyond the development and manufacturing of polyester. The Korean textile industry needs to focus on diversifying the types and designs of its products while also fostering other fashion-related industries. The development of new quality products and the pioneering of new markets abroad should proceed in and beyond the United States, Europe, and Japan.
The Korean electronics industry exports 64 percent of al its products overseas, faring particularly well on the international home appliance market. However, as the electronics industries of other countries are growing and expanding rapidly, it is uncertain for how long the Korean electronics industry can maintain its positive growth. Electronics exports from Japan, for instance, are growing at a rate of 30 percent or more a year. The Korean electronics industry can compete only by improving the quality of its products, particularly video tape recorders, microwave ovens, video game players and consoles, color televisions, and similar home electronics.
Even while the Korean state was focused on achieving dramatic economic growth through heavy and chemical industries, the textile and electronics industries in this country have been faring remarkably well. It is important for the Korean government to allocate its attention and resources more evenly and strengthen its support for these two industries so that they can continue to perform well on the international market and play a central role in both Korea’s industrialization and the Korean job market.
섬유, 전자공업의 특성과 수급구조( Characteristics and demand-supply structure of the textile and electronics industries)
|Series Title; No||연구총서|
|Subject Country||South Korea(Asia and Pacific)|
|Subject||Industry and Technology < General|
|Holding||KDI; KDI School|