Proof as to why Korea will continue to prosper despite recent manipulations in the markets

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Koreas Exports

Koreas Exports

A lot of short term minded people are shaking in their boots recently due to currency shocks and the Korean stock indexes dropping almost as fast as the Nikkei dropped & rose in the past few days.  However, this little story may show why it’s hard to doubt the Koreans in business:

“…there was no shipbuilding industry in South Korea until the 1960s. When the country’s dictator, Park Chung-hee, summoned Chong [Hyundai’s founder] and told him to produce oil tankers, for which there was a sudden demand, Chong went straight to Greece and scooped up two contracts to build 260,000-tonne tankers, promising his customers delivery within two years, sooner than anyone else. He had neglected to mention that at that moment he lacked even a shipyard. He then waved the order in front of Barclays Bank, which lent him enough money to build a modern yard. No one in South Korea knew how to do that, so Chong dispatched 60 engineers to Scotland to learn. The ships were delivered before the deadline. This famous story, concedes Bruce Cumings of the University of Chicago in a refreshingly revisionist modern history, “Korea’s Place in the Sun”, may be apocryphal in its details, yet it has a strong whiff of truth about it.”

From the same article in the Economist, “South Korea today is more of a whale than a shrimp in several global industries. In memory chips it is home to the world’s biggest maker of flash memory (Samsung Electronics) and the two biggest makers of DRAM chips (Samsung and Hynix). It has the third-largest steelmaker (POSCO), the fifth-largest carmaker (Hyundai Motor), and the world’s three biggest shipbuilders (Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, or DSME). It is a leading producer of mobile handsets and of LCD screens for televisions, computers and much more.”

and more…

“The country’s biggest successes in consumer electronics are LGE and Samsung Electronics. Only a decade ago consumers abroad hardly knew them, and if they did it was as makers of cheap knock-offs of classier brands, notably Sony. Today they have annual sales of $43 billion and $92 billion respectively, along with a reputation for making hip and sophisticated mobile handsets, MP3 players, televisions, digital cameras and more. LGE, for instance, is the world’s largest maker of plasma televisions; Samsung has recently overtaken Motorola to become the second-biggest maker of mobile phones. Samsung’s stockmarket capitalisation, at over $80 billion, has raced past Sony’s and is second only to Apple among consumer-electronics companies. Samsung Electronics now makes the televisions on which Sony sticks its name badge.”


Filed under Business practices, Entrepreneurial life, Financial, Globalization, Great finds, Inspirational, Interesting..., Japanese life, Korea life, Opinions, Random thoughts, Sales, Seoul, Statistics, Technology

2 responses to “Proof as to why Korea will continue to prosper despite recent manipulations in the markets

  1. Sun

    Hey that was a great article in the Economist. Also that book Korea’s Place in the Sun, tells a great but the sad truth on how industrialization was forced in South Korea, whether the people liked it or not.

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