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"Korean TVs Are Prestigious Brands in Brazil"

Posted November. 14, 2004 23:24,   


Demand for Korean Electronic Products Increases

“For the past four to five years, Korean products have won amazingly high recognition from an increasing number of customers. In particular, LG TVs are sold out right away the moment we bring them in,” said head manager Janina Hominger of “Fast Shop,” an electronic shop located in Sao Paulo City, Brazil. As such popularity shows, TV and DVD players of LG Electronics now account for 24.5 percent and 25 percent respectively in the Brazil market. Samsung and LG Electronics together make up more than 70 percent of the Brazil market for monitors. Also, in the middle and high priced market for mobile phones, each company holds more than 40 percent market share.

Marketing general manager of LG Electronics in Brazil said, “Since Brazil’s slowdown in 1998, most Japanese companies were withdrawn, while Korean companies have put in more efforts in marketing so as to enhance brand competitiveness. Now, as the domestic demand in Brazil starts to recover, Korean companies are enjoying high returns.”

LG Electronics was recently selected as the best company in the area of electronics and telecommunications in a renowned economic monthly magazine.

Brazilian Cities Want Korean Companies

Campinas City of Sao Paulo State, the Silicon Valley of Brazil, offered large benefits to Samsung Electronics regarding taxes as it invited the company’s mobile factory there in March. “The Brazilian government is run by the Workers` Party (PT), which has a strong socialistic tendency, but its labor market has high flexibility and few labor disputes. The government and other local government bodies are very cooperative as well,” said Lim Joong-ho, the deputy general manager of the Central and South America head office of Samsung Electronics.

LG Electronics is now also busy in laying groundwork for extending mobile phone lines in Taobate, 90 miles away from Sao Paolo City. Taobate has actively provided much support such as offering 50 hectares of land to LG without charge, and tax reductions on corporation and circulation tax.

Race with China Becomes More Competitive

President Roh Moo-hyun plans to attend the “Korean Best Products Exhibition” hosted by the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) in Sao Paolo City on November 17. One day before President Roh’s visit, Chinese President Hu Jintao is also expected to visit another exhibition for Chinese products, scheduled to open in the same city.

“China, which needs Brazilian resources, is vigorously strengthening its ties with Brazil and increasing numbers of Chinese companies are making aggressive advances into the Brazilian market. Competition between Korea and China in Central and South America’s largest market has already begun,” said director Kim Gun-young of the Korea Trade Center in Sao Paolo.

Joong-Hyun Park sanjuck@donga.com