Located on the Korean peninsula, mountainous South Korea is the land of harbors with GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $1.206 trillion; and per capita $24,600. Country’s economy showed a real growth rate of 4.9% and Inflation: 2.5% in 2007. Textiles and Clothing industries have been a major contributor to employment and economy of the country. Country's labor productivity in the manufacturing sector rose 9.6 percent year-on-year in 2007, fueled by gains in domestic consumption, industrial output and exports. The Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) is a branch of the South Korean Government. It is concerned with regulating economic policies, especially in regards to the Industrial and Energy sectors. The Ministry also works to encourage Foreign Investment in Korea. The headquarters are located in the national government complex in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi province. Mr Dong Chang Jung is the Director -Department of Textile, Apparels & Consumer Goods Industries, MKE. Since 8 years, he has been working in civil service with South Korean Government . Prior to his present position, Mr Jung has worked as the Director of Overseas Marketing Division; Retails and Distribution Division; and Industrial Environment Division of South Korean Government. Face2Face team interviewed Mr Dong Chang Jung for his outlook on present and future scenario of Korean Textile Industry, and the activities of the Ministry in its welfare.
To begin with, we would request you to share an overview of the Korean Textile & the Garment industry with our readers? Can they be supported with statistical figures too?
Korea has a relatively large, vertically integrated from up-stream to down-stream, textile and fashion industries which have played a key role in the process of the nation's modernization, contributing significantly to employment, production and exports for the last several decades. Korean textile and fashion industries represented 14.7% of the total number of manufacturing enterprises in 2005.
Also, Korean textile and fashion industries maintained its prestige as a largest job maintaining industry, recording 9.6% of total manufacturing employment and account for 4.4% of total production in 2005.
As of 2006, Korean textile and fashion industries represent 4.1% of total exports and have played a key role with trade surplus accounting for 32% of the total trade surplus.
Position of Korean Textile Industry
|Category||Companies (Number)||Employment (Number)||Production (Billion Won)||Exports(2006) (Billion USD)||Trade Balance(2006) (Billion USD)|
|Textile & Fashion (Share: %)||17252 (14.7)||274 (9.6)||37897 (4.4)||13.2 (4.1)||5.2 (32)|
What is the role of your department in the development of the Textile & Apparel industry in Korea?
The role of our division is to accelerate the modernization of the textile industry and to reinforce the international competitiveness of textile products in order to contribute to the growth of the national economy.
On a global platform, how competitive is the Korean textile industry in terms of quality and cost etc..?
The Korean textiles and apparel industry has played a major role in the development, but the competitiveness is decreasing mainly due to labor costs.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.