According to statistics released by the Korea Trade Association on the 23rd, South Korea's total exports to China last year amounted to 162.913 billion U.S. dollars, 162.4 times the 1.003 billion U.S. dollars in 1991 before the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and China. During the same period, South Korea's total foreign exports increased 9 times from $71.88 billion to $644.4 billion.
During the same period, South Korea's exports to the U.S. increased 4.2 times from $18.559 billion to $95.902 billion, and exports to Japan increased 1.4 times from $12.356 billion to $30.062 billion, compared to the geometric growth of exports to China, according to Yonhap News Agency.
Before the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and China, China ranked 15th in the Korean export ranking, while the U.S. was at the top of the list, and Korea's exports to the U.S. were 18.5 times higher than those to China. In 1992, the year diplomatic ties were established, China climbed to No. 6, No. 4 in 1993, No. 3 in 1996, No. 2 in 2001, surpassed the U.S. to take the top spot in 2003, and has held the No. 1 position for the past 20 years since.
The report also mentioned that South Korea's trade balance with China only had a deficit of $1.071 billion in 1992, and has maintained a surplus for 30 years since then. However, from May to July this year, South Korea's trade with China had a deficit for three consecutive months, triggering speculation that the "surplus era" of South Korea's trade with China may come to an end.
"South Korea and China rode the spring breeze of the post-Cold War era to establish diplomatic relations on Aug. 24, 1992." Yonhap News Agency reported on August 23 that bilateral trade has grown rapidly in the past 30 years, with trade with China now accounting for 24 percent of South Korea's total trade and 80 percent of South Korea's annual trade surplus coming from trade with China.
"It's all just beginning!" The Korea Daily News published an interview with Park Han-jin, director of the China Economic Observation Institute of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, on the 23rd. Talking about the "decoupling theory" of the Korean-Chinese economy, he said, "It is not the time to leave China, but the time for Korean companies to enter the Chinese market."
In the interview, Park Han-jin reportedly said, "If we look at reducing labor costs, some companies may consider withdrawing from China. But from a strategic point of view, it is not a valid decision to abandon the nearest consumer market with a population of more than one billion people and look for other alternatives.
Park Han-jin believes that the current changes in China's consumer trends are very favorable for Korean companies to invest and develop in China, where the middle class is growing and the "post-90s" and "post-00s" have led the changes in the consumer market in recent years," he said. These are very good investment environments for Korean companies with good brand image and technical capabilities," he said. He said that the reason why Korean companies do not have many successful business cases in China is because of their own "strategic mistakes", many Korean companies do not know enough about the Chinese market, without actual investigation, and rush to invest blindly, which will lead to business failure.
In the interview, Park Han-jin called the current problems in Sino-Korean economic cooperation "growing pains". He looked forward to further upgrading and refinement of Sino-Korean cooperation and the opening of the "Sino-Korean Economic Cooperation 2.0 Era" together.