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S. Korea to lose No. 1 exporter status in China within few years: survey

All News 15:19 June 16, 2017

SEOUL, June 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will likely lose its status as the largest exporter of goods to China within a few years amid escalating competition coming from Japan, European countries and the United States, a survey said Friday.

About 38.1 percent of 105 local employees working at Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) offices in 17 Chinese cities said South Korea will only be able to hold on its leading status for one or two years more at the most

The poll conducted by the state-run trade promotion agency also showed 29.5 percent predicted South Korea to hold its ranking for about five years while 27.6 percent were much more pessimistic, saying things could change within this year.

Japan was viewed as the most formidable competitor with 76.2 percent of employees surveyed saying the challenge is serious. Comparable figures for Europe, the U.S. and Taiwan were 33.3 percent, 29.5 percent and 26.7 percent.

About 60 percent of the respondents said South Korea will continue to be competitive in consumer goods in the Chinese market. Cultural content, services and intermediary goods or parts were also cited as competitive South Korean goods in China according to 58.1 percent, 35.2 percent and 21.0 percent of those surveyed. Forty-nine percent said design was South Korea's most competitive edge while 26 percent cited performance and quality of products.

For 45.7 percent, South Korea was seen as lagging in terms of brand recognition.

The latest findings then showed that 41.9 percent of KOTRA's Chinese employees said the competitive gap between the South Korea and China stood at one to two years, while 40 percent said the difference reached four to five years.


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