Korea in Global Value Chains: Pathways for Industrial Transformation

Korea in Global Value Chains: Pathways for Industrial Transformation
Listing Type: Research Reports

Stacey Frederick | Penny Bamber | Lukas Brun | Jaehan Cho | Gary Gereffi | Joonkoo Lee

The Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade (KIET) commissioned the Duke University Global Value Chains Center (Duke GVCC) to analyze Korea's participation in the global electronics and shipbuilding industries to identify broader lessons for Korea’s future ambitions for industrial transformation. These two industries comprise 30% of exports, account for over half a million semi- and skilled jobs and a substantial share of the country’s R&D spending. They provide two distinct perspectives for Korea’s participation in GVCs. On one hand, electronics products are targeted to the consumer market, technologies are rapidly changing and profits are derived from bulk production for mass consumer markets, and control over marketing and branding. Shipbuilding, on the other hand, is very capital-intensive, ships have long life cycles, and production is highly concentrated in three countries. Korea has established a global leadership position in both industries in a select number of final product categories and key component products by continually investing in process and product upgrading coupled with strong R&D investments.

Geography: Asia
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