Peddlers Between South Korea and China Rising in Numbers

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Peddlers Between South Korea and China Rising in Numbers

The traffic of products carried by traveling merchants, or peddlers, from China to South Korea has risen twofold since the IMF bailout. The total volume of their annual trade amounted to one billion dollars.
According to the Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), on March 17, the number of peddlers between South Korea and China, which was only around 1,000 before the IMF bailout, is esitmated to have surpassed two thousand.
Passengers who travel to China via Inchon's seaport are up 85 percent this year from 1998, and that about 70 percent of all passengers are peddlers.
The major areas of China which these small tradesmen often visit are WeiHai and Chingdao in Sandong Province, and they retain 60 to 70 percent of trade.
The main items being traded are clothing and textile goods, which occupy 80 percent of this trade.
A source from KOTRA stated, 'Because competition is increasingly more intense, beginners who are not cautious will suffer heavy losses.'

Jangsoo Seo;jsbee@jooangang.co.kr.

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