The Korea Federation of SMEs recently conducted a survey with 300 South Korean companies importing Japanese products and 52 percent of the respondents answered that they are not prepared at all to deal with the upcoming exclusion of South Korea from Japan’s trade whitelist.
Of the total, 20.7 percent and 17.7 percent said that they are somewhat and partially prepared, respectively. On the other hand, only 8.6 percent and 1 percent said they are fairly and perfectly prepared, respectively.
As for their countermeasures against Japan’s export curbs, 46.5 percent mentioned inventory replenishment and the answer was followed by less business with Japan and more business with alternative markets (31.3 percent), R&D-based competitiveness enhancement (15.3 percent) and efforts for self-sufficiency (6.9 percent).
Among the respondents, 25.7 percent replied that the ongoing trade disputes between South Korea and Japan are adversely affecting their business, while 39 percent and 35.3 percent replied that things remain to be seen, and they are not being adversely affected, respectively.
Over 67 percent of the companies expressed concerns over the exclusion from the list, with 36.3 percent, 26.7 percent and 4.3 percent answering the measure would affect them within three months, in three months to one year, and in over one year, respectively.
Among the respondents, 44.7 percent mentioned that the South Korean government should mend diplomatic fences with Japan while seeking more international cooperation, while 34.3 percent called for measures for corporate damage minimization and fairer business environments and 21 percent picked competitiveness enhancement in the material, component and equipment industries as the top-priority measure.