Wednesday, February 13, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, January 28 2008] 121 Global Best-Sellers, But More Still Needed

As of the end of 2007, Korean companies were making 121 global best-selling products, according to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy. That marks a two-fold rise from 2004, when only 59 Korean products were global best sellers. There are 583 products that the ministry has selected as "global best-sellers," that either rank in the top five in the world within their category or could enter those ranks within three years. It is good news that our best-sellers are increasing, despite lackluster corporate investments over the past few years, compounded by rising raw materials prices and the strengthening won which have been cutting into the profitability of Korean products.

Included in the global best-selling products are memory chips (45 percent market share), TFT-LCDs (46 percent), LNG tankers (63 percent), diesel engines for ships (60 percent) and other products made by large business conglomerates. Also included are products made by small businesses or mid-sized businesses, including motorcycle helmets (32 percent), glue used to make shoes (50 percent), cleaners for ultra-thin textile threads (35 percent), and shoes for bicycling (32 percent). Looking at the number of products, almost half are made by small or mid-sized businesses.

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