The Korea Economic Research Institute announced on Sept. 29 that China currently has the highest global market share in seven out of the nine major export industries of South Korea and the number is one for South Korea and one for Japan. The institute also said that China is likely to outperform both South Korea and Japan in five years in all of those industries with the only exception of semiconductor.
Back in 2000, Japan recorded the highest global market share in six out of the nine industries, followed by South Korea (two) and China (one). “Steel, shipbuilding, automobile and electronics were Japan’s major industries 20 years ago, are South Korea’s and China’s major industries now, and will be China’s major industries in the future,” the institute explained.
When it comes to the technological competitiveness of the nine industries of the three countries, that of Japan was 113.8 and that of China was 59.6 in 2000 compared to South Korea’s 100 as a reference point. However, the figures changed to 102.8 for Japan and 79.8 for China, which means a narrower technological gap. In 2024, the figures are likely to become 97.4, 89.1 and 100, which means South Korea will become more competitive than Japan with China about to catch up with South Korea.
By industry, China’s wireless communications device, steel and display, automobile, textile, and ship industries are predicted to reach 96.3 percent, 91.7 percent, 91.3 percent, 91.1 percent, and 90.9 percent of their South Korean counterparts in five years. Although South Korea is expected to surpass Japan in overall competitiveness in 2024, Japan is likely to still maintain its competitive edge in automobile (117.4 percent), textile (116.3 percent), petrochemical (108.3 percent), and general machinery (107.1 percent) that year.
As for R&D environments, the current scores of South Korea, China and Japan are 100, 100.1 and 110.5, respectively. Specifically, Japan posted 127.3 in competitiveness in basic science fields, 107.3 in industry-academia collaboration, and 106.8 in R&D personnel. China surpassed the other two in government support (133.9) and CEOs’ interest in R&D (106.4). South Korea failed to show any superiority in the evaluation items.