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Development Status and Competitiveness Analysis of Korean Textile and Garment Industry

American scholar Michael Porter's statistics on the top 50 competitive South Korean exporting companies before 1980 show that South Korea's textile and clothing industry accounted for half of the country. In the early 1990s, the Korean textile industry faced competition from low-wage countries in most East Asian economies and developing countries dominated by China. The international market share decreased, and domestic enterprises moved to low-cost areas for production; after 2000, in order to adapt to market changes, Re-adjusting the product structure, strengthening high value-added products, implementing differentiated strategies, shifting from domestic demand to export-oriented, and developing self-branded products, the textile industry still occupies an important position in South Korea's economic development.


1. The current situation of Korean textile and garment industry


1.1 Status of production and import and export

The textile and garment industry is one of the important industries in Korea. In 2000, the Korean textile and garment industry accounted for 8% of the gross national product, and the number of people engaged in the textile industry accounted for 19% of the total industrial employees. The quality and variety of products have been greatly improved. The main export destinations of Korean garments are the United States, Europe, Japan and China, and exports to China have increased in recent years. According to United Nations statistics, in 2001, South Korea's textile export value was 15.3 billion US dollars, with a market share of 4.4%, ranking fifth in the world; The total export value of such products is 15.2 billion US dollars, of which the export value of textile machinery equipment is 1.113 billion US dollars, an increase of 20.2% over the 2003 export value of 926 million US dollars. The annual trade surplus of the Korean textile industry is generally around 10 billion US dollars. The export value of the textile and garment industry accounts for 11.3% of the total manufacturing export value, of which the garment industry accounts for 3.4%.


1.2 Current Situation of Consumption

In the sales of Korean textiles, the channel type dominated by medium and low prices plays an important role: in 2003, there were 1,863 large-scale stores with an area of ​​​​more than 3,000 square meters in Korean ready-to-wear stores, of which 803 were located in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi area. Among them, there are 1,458 general stores, 238 discount stores, 98 department stores, 46 shopping centers, and 5 wholesale centers. Large discount stores and shopping centers increased by 174% and 48% compared with 1999, the largest increase. In addition, the distribution methods without stores such as TV shopping and online shopping have also developed rapidly. In 2003, sales in the market without stores such as online shopping, TV shopping and mail order accounted for 39%, 36% and 24% respectively. The consumption of home textiles in South Korea is on a rapid upward trend, and the clothing consumption market is very widely distributed. In addition to chain stores and specialty stores, there are many large markets. For example, Dongdaemun Textile and Clothing Market in Seoul attracts about 120,000 foreign tourists every year. There are at least 30 wholesale and retail markets for textiles and clothing on this scale in South Korea.


1.3 Current situation of foreign investment

South Korea is the fourth largest textile producer in the world. In order to reduce costs and facilitate export, Korean textile and garment enterprises have invested and set up factories abroad one after another. 80% of the overseas investment is concentrated in Asia. The Asian region is dominated by China, and China is dominated by Shandong, Liaoning and Jilin provinces. In recent years, due to the advantages of labor prices and preferential investment policies, Vietnam has become an emerging hot spot for Korean companies to invest. By the end of 2004, there were more than 20,000 domestic textile companies in South Korea and more than 3,500 overseas investment enterprises, accounting for about 62.8% in China alone, and the investment has reached 800 million US dollars.

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