Opening a new set of opportunities for Asean countries, South Korea is now looking at new ways to develop economic ties in Southeast Asia. As the government scouts for new ways to diversify trade and economic ties, businesses from Southeast Asian countries could find new openings to work with South Korean companies.
As the US deployed new counter missile batteries in South Korea, China imposed sanctions on South Korea which greatly impacted its economy. So in order to reduce its dependency on trade with China and the resulting political influence, South Korea wants to boost its economic relations with other countries, especially with the rapidly developing Southeast Asian region.
Diversifying South Korea’s trade and economic partners
The Chinese authorities will continue to push the development of the country’s own companies rather than importing Korean products, and their relations with North Korea could continue to negatively impact relations with South Korea. So diversification is a good strategy for a sustainable economy and it presents new opportunities both for South Korean and Southeast Asian businesses.
Many experts say that South Korean businesses have been too focused on China and the US; this makes business strategies and business plans all the more interesting for the long-term to develop operations and trade with Southeast Asia.
The attractiveness of Asean
ASEAN’s developing economy and expanding market makes it an ideal trade partner for South Korean companies. As ASEAN countries’ grow, their demand will become more sophisticated, attracting better quality products and thus force companies to improve their current products and processes and invent new ones to satisfy consumers.
Many ASEAN markets are still barely penetrated by Korean products and services, besides Vietnam and Indonesia. So even though these two countries still present great potential, due to their vast population and well-established connections, business with the other countries look even brighter.
For South Korea, market research and long-term business plans must be conducted to find and cope with local interests and demands. But it is quite clear that the largest and least developed countries could present the most interest for mass market products, so the Philippines and Myanmar could harbor some of the best opportunities.
Yet, for more advanced products and services, Thailand and Malaysia could also be significant partners, as their GDP per capita is higher and consumer habits are also more sophisticated.