Small Korean Firms Lose Out to Chinese Rivals

      December 14, 2010 12:04

      Small and medium-sized Korean businesses are being beaten by their Chinese rivals in the global market.

      According to a report by the Korea International Trade Association released on Monday, 21 Korean-made products have over the last four years lost their top spots in their respective global industries to Chinese-made ones, 20 of them manufactured by small and mid-sized firms in textile, apparel and plastics industries.

      Choi Yong-min, a researcher at KITA, said, "Small and mid-sized businesses are finding themselves falling behind their Japanese rivals in high-quality products and losing their shares of overseas markets to China and other developing countries, leading to declining exports."

      Small and mid-sized companies are classified as those that employ less than 300 full-time workers or are capitalized at less than W8 billion (US$1=W1,147). They accounted for just 38 percent of Korea's total exports in 2008 compared to 53 percent in 2003.

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