Japan’s woes mean gains for exportersKorean companies have enhanced their overseas competitiveness since Japan was hit by a massive earthquake last March, according to recent data by local research institutes and business groups.
Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan and destroyed manufacturing facilities in the area.
According to a report released by Hyundai Research Institute, Korea’s trade balance with Japan has improved significantly in the interim. It also showed that the competitiveness of local export companies has gained momentum, especially auto and semiconductor manufacturers, while Japanese firms have increased their investments in Korea. Furthermore, Korea’s travel deficit with Japan has improved.
The report showed that Korea’s trade deficit with the neighboring country narrowed by around $7.5 billion last year from 2010. Over the same period, Korean exports to Japan grew 40.8 percent last year, while imports dropped 23.8 percentage points to 6.3 percent.
As for local auto and semiconductor producers, the data indicated that their competitiveness has been boosted overseas.
While Japanese vehicle makers including Toyota and Honda saw their overall production drop 12.7 percent in 2011, Korea’s vehicle production by major auto companies like Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors increased 9 percent. Japan’s auto makers also fared worse in terms of their combined global share, which dropped from 12.3 percent to 10.4 percent on-year.
Top Korean chipmakers including Samsung Electronics’ and Hynix saw their combined share of the DRAM market jump to 67.6 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
Japanese firms have also increased their facility investments in Korea as the supply chain due to disruptions to Japan’s supply line.
The number of FDI projects led by Japanese firms in Korea increased by 79 to 500 over the three last quarters of 2011, with total volume climbing from $2.08 billion to $2.3 billion.
Another survey conducted by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed that Korean exporters were able to increase their overseas shipments last year to gain the upper hand over their Japanese counterparts.
By Lee Eun-joo [email@example.com]
More in Industry
Chuseok delivery strike canceled as headcount increased
BMW Motorrad channels 1936 for its latest bike
Battery business IPO won't affect LG Chem's controlling stake, company says
Hyundai Construction Equipment signs Algeria forklift deal
FSS permits financial sector workers to use networks remotely