Emerging industries fall behind competition

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Emerging industries fall behind competition

Korea is falling behind in making preparations for emerging industries according to a report by a government-sponsored institute.

The Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade (KIET) said in a report Sunday that eight of the country’s nine emerging sectors lack growth potential compared to global competition.

The nine industries include bio health care, immersive content, processing in memory, intelligent robots, rechargeable batteries, artificial intelligence (AI), next-generation displays, internet of things (IoT) devices and self-driving vehicles.

The KIET report said while the next-generation display industry fares well compared to global counterparts, other categories were behind. The local display industry scored high marks overall thanks to its advanced OLED and flexible display technologies.

The institute said seven industries, excluding displays and batteries, scored low points in terms of innovative assets. The report found that companies face difficulty in hiring professionals and making use of government investment funds and tax support.

Meanwhile, the industrial competitiveness of all nine industries in Korea was behind counterparts in the United States. When compared to China, only three industries had an edge in competitiveness: displays, IoT devices and rechargeable batteries.

Korea’s rechargeable battery industry fared well with its level of technology at 89 percent of its U.S. counterpart, according to KIET’s survey that assessed the emerging industries compared to those from other countries.

The country’s self-driving vehicle technology was at 80 percent of the level of the United States, while China edged higher at 85 percent. At 70 percent, bio health care was the lowest among the nine industries. The bio health care industry had the lowest global market share rank among the country’s emerging industries with 1.2 percent in 2017.

The report also found that Korea is behind in the emerging semiconductor industry despite its established global lead in memory chips. In terms of global market share for system on chips (SoC), Korea ranked sixth.

KIET emphasized the need for reduced government regulation in order for industries to grow.

“An expansion of strategic support for market creation such as establishing a large testbed with minimal regulation [is needed],” said Kim Jong-ki, director of KIET’s information and communications technology and emerging industry division.

BY CHAE YUN-HWAN [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]
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