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‘Lack of cooperation will adversely affect both Korea and Japan,’ says CEO of KITA

‘Lack of cooperation will adversely affect both Korea and Japan,’ says CEO of KITA

Posted July. 18, 2019 08:58,   

Updated July. 18, 2019 08:58


In light of the South Korea government’s countermeasure of switching to domestic production of materials and parts in response to Japan’s export regulations, some say that a strategy focused on local production will significantly undermine the competitiveness of South Korean manufacturing sector. The Korea International Trade Association (KITA), along with other economic institutions, will submit a statement to the Japanese government calling for the cancellation of Tokyo’s plan to remove South Korea from the “white country” list.

“Korea and Japan have been the important pillars in raising the standards of the global manufacturing industry through the division of work and healthy competition,” KITA CEO Kim Young-ju said during a luncheon meeting with correspondents on Wednesday. “KITA and other economic institutions will submit a statement to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to halt its plan to remove Korea from the white list.” KITA is the biggest private trade organization in South Korea with about 70,000 member companies.

“If South Korean conglomerates jump into internalizing the development and production of materials and parts, the problem at our hand could be resolved to some degree despite the necessary expenses,” said CEO Kim. “However, this ultimately does not benefit either Japan or South Korea.”

“Once the decades-long history of the division of work and cooperation between Korea and Japan discontinues, both countries will find it difficult to maintain their positions as competitive manufacturing hubs. This is truly an undesirable scenario,” he explained. On the possibility of longer-term export regulations, he said, “We are doing our best to prevent such possibility.”

Do-Hyong Kim dodo@donga.com