Korean large businesses were shown to gain earnings at a faster pace last year than small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
According to a report submitted to the ruling Saenuri Party’s lawmaker Kim Han-pyo on October 16 by the Trade, Industry and Energy Committee, the productivity index for Korean large businesses reached 164.9 points in 2012, while that of SMEs was at 125.8 points.
The number indicates how a firm’s productivity has improved over previous years compared to the base year set at 2005 with 100 points.
Wages in large businesses also increased at a faster pace than those of SMEs. Their average annual salary reached 53.8 million won (US$50,420) as of 2010, up 17.5 percent from 45.8 million won in 2008.
On the contrary, the average annual salary of SMEs was 25.2 million won (US$23,612) in 2010, just up 7.6 percent from two years earlier.
Lawmaker Kim said that the gap resulted from large businesses, in particular, being affiliates of conglomerates that have made inroads into business sectors traditionally dominated by SMEs in a bid to expand amid a weaker economy.
President Park Geun-hye’s administration has been placing its policy priority in supporting SMEs to lessen the family-controlled conglomerates’ dominance of the national economy.