Pantech aims to expand its brand

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Pantech aims to expand its brand

Pantech Co., Korea’s third largest mobile phone manufacturer, plans to establish five overseas branches this year, vice chairman Park Byeong-yeop told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday. The overseas offices will be in China, the United States, Russia, Europe and the Middle East, Mr. Park said. Pantech’s plan is to become one of the world’s top five mobile phone companies within three years, and Mr. Park said the company “will aggressively attack the overseas market” through the new branches. Pantech currently ranks seventh. He said the company plans to triple its production of phones in China, as it received a Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) production and sales license from the Chinese government last month. GSM is a mobile communication standard developed in Europe. Without the license, Pantech faced difficulty in expanding, as GSM takes up 84 percent of the cell phone market in China. “We plan to expand annual production from 1.2 million mobile phones at our plant in China to 4 million a year,” Mr. Park said, adding that the company plans to introduce 20 high-tech cell phone models there. He said Pantech will also invest 450 billion won ($443 million) this year in research and development of new phones, and will increase exports of phones under its own brand name to 80 percent of the total. Last year, Pantech exported its own brand to 34 countries, but this was only 40 percent of total exports. “It is difficult to survive without an independent brand,” Mr. Park said. by Lee Hee-sung

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