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Ban on Entry of South Koreans Seriously Affecting Business Activities
Sales Predicted to Fall
Ban on Entry of South Koreans Seriously Affecting Business Activities
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • March 3, 2020, 08:31
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South Korean passengers undergo a medical examination at the Ben Gurion Airport in Israel.

Concerns are rising about the possibility that the U.S. government will block the entry of South Koreans all of a sudden. As of March 2, such prohibition or temporary restriction is effective in 36 countries and stricter entry procedures are in force in 57 countries.

Under the circumstances, Samsung Electronics is working on plans to cope with the possibility. The company is running consumer electronics manufacturing facilities in South Carolina and semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Texas. In addition, the United States is home to Microsoft, Google and Amazon, which are the largest clients for Samsung Electronics’ server DRAM products.

Lotte Chemical and LG Chem are trying to cope with potential problems, too. They are currently running petrochemical and electric vehicle battery plants in Louisiana and Michigan, respectively. SK Innovation, which is building an electric vehicle battery plant in Georgia, is going to send more personnel before such prohibition.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s entry ban targeting South Koreans is likely to seriously affect South Korean companies’ global supply networks along with the same measure of China. Although the companies are trying to replace business trips with teleconferences, their sales are predicted to fall due to fewer meetings with local buyers.

The export-driven South Korean economy is likely to take a direct hit from the ongoing trend. According to the Korea Customs Service, South Korea’s average daily exports were US$180 million, down 9.3 percent from a year ago, for the first three weeks of last month.