The purpose of this study is to provide information for industrial policymaking and planning in Korea by assessing the growth of the Korean plywood industry. The Korean plywood industry, once an import-substituting industry, has rapidly grown into one of the leading export industries in Korea thanks to growing demand overseas and reinforcement from the Korean government. The growth of the plywood industry has also seen an increase in its productivity due to the economy achievement of a scalar economy and the industry’s technological progress. The technological innovation of the plywood industry has also affected the national economy by localizing the production of timber, which until recently, had been imported from overseas. The foreign capital that the plywood industry earned also contributed significantly to Korea’s economic development in the early years.
The Korean plywood industry began as an import-substituting industry in 1954, in the immediate aftermath of the Korean War. Although the industry originated during Japanese occupation, it saw little progress. By 1954, the industry produced 42.5 million square feet of lumber. By 1960, the figure had increased to 148.4 million square feet, 23.2 percent up from 1954. This growth in the plywood industry exerted a positive impact in the Korean economy, and the industry began to export overseas in 1961. The volume of plywood exports increased significantly between 1961 and 1975, from 25.4 million square feet to 3,466.8 million square feet of lumber, accounting for more than 10 percent of all goods Korea exported that year. The turn toward exportation in the plywood industry fuelled growing demand on the domestic market as well. The demand in Korea for plywood, from 3.1 square feet in 1961, rose to 33.2 square feet by 1973, a significant change, considering their counterparts in France and Canada demand approximately 1.3 square feet, and in the United States and Japan around 2 square feet.
Now a major exporter, the plywood industry has developed an increasingly elaborate manufacturing structure, including upstream and downstream manufacturing activities. The plywood industry continues to grow alongside many related industries, including the manufacturing of glues, paints, rubber rollers, varnishes, and furniture, as well as alongside the shipping industry. The growth of these industries, in turn, has also improved the productivity of the plywood industry, while creating an increasing number of jobs and attracting growing investment in the development and innovation of related technologies.
The demand for Korean plywood is likely to continue its upward trajectory in and outside Korea. The evolution of the manufacturing techniques and the related industries will fuel the growth of demand. The Korean plywood industry will therefore continue to contribute significantly to the national economy by earning foreign currencies and creating more jobs, while also prompting technological innovation and an increase in productivity throughout the national economy.
합판공업의 성장(Growth of the plywood industry in Korea)
|Series Title; No||연구보고서 / 제78-05권|
|Subject Country||South Korea(Asia and Pacific)|
|Subject||Industry and Technology < General|
|Holding||KDI; KDI School|