The First Seoul Forum Asia Business Caucus (ABC)
"China's Domestic Consumption-oriented Economic Growth and Korean Companies"
Presented by CHEONG Yong Rok, Seoul National University
The Seoul Forum for International Affairs hosted its first Asia Business Caucus (ABC) seminar on March 24, 2014, at the Seoul Club. Dr. Cheong Yong Rok, then Minister for Economic Affairs at the Korean Embassy in Beijing and currently professor at Seoul National University's Graduate School of International Studies, gave an insightful talk entitled "China's Domestic Consumption-oriented Economic Growth and Korean Companies."
The main focus of his presentation was on the ability of Korean companies to maximize opportunities as China refocuses its attention towards the domestic consumer goods market. Dr. Cheong emphasized that the major future challenge doesn’t lie in the sustainability of China’s economic growth, but rather, on the question of whether Korean companies have the potential to further benefit from an expanding internal Chinese market. As a means to addressing this challenge, he assessed the current direction and main contours of President Xi Jinping’s and Premier Li Keqiang's economic policies and then provided possible guidelines and beneficial responses by Korean companies.
According to Cheong, Korean companies in the past were able to benefit greatly and earn profits from first mover advantages in China but its new focus on domestic consumption may likely negate such advantages. In the end, Cheong insisted that in order for Korean firms to regain competitiveness in the Chinese market, they must target the commercial market with innovative, and more importantly, localized products and related projects.