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Korea textile industry need to reorganize focusing on high value-added market

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-09-04 10:00:00 – Seoul

Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) has released a report called “Comparative Analysis of International Competitiveness in Textile Industry of Korea, China and Japan and Its Policy Proposals”. According to the report, the technological level in the textile industry of Japan in 2020 will stand at 100 percent, while the figures of Korea and Japan will be at 85 percent and 75 percent, respectively.

The Korean textile industry will need to reorganize its industrial structure with the direction of promoting the high value added market, such as high performance textiles and fabrics for high-tech industry.

According to the report, Korean fabric technological level has increased from 75 percent in 2010 to 79 percent in 2015. The figure will slightly improve to 85 percent in 2020. Also, China has steadily seen the technological growth in the fabric industry from 55 percent in 2010, 65 percent in 2015 and to 75 percent in 2020.

Accordingly, the technical gap between Korea and China will be halved in a decade from 20 percent in 2010 to 10 percent in 2020. The figure between Japan and Korea will also decrease from 25 percent in 2010 to 15 percent in 2020.

On the other hand, China’s share in the global textile market as of 2013 was 37.9 percent, while the figures of Korea and Japan stood at 2.2 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

Korea witnessed decrease in the global market share from 2.7 percent in 2007 to 2.2 percent in 2013, while Japan was also on the decreasing trend from 1.7 percent in 2007 to 1.2 percent in 2013.

While, Japan is expanding investment in the development of higher value-added industrial textiles, which are in high demand like high performance and functional textiles and nano fibers. At the same time China is reorganizing the industrial structure, focusing on higher value-added products, and is industrializing textiles for high-tech industry.

In contrast, Korea has low competitiveness since it has a high percentage of clothing in production and most of them are being supplied to the domestic market with middle and high prices, while those for export are low and middle priced products.

According to KERI, with China expanding its exports of low-end products, the market share of Korea, which has competitiveness in exporting low priced products, is going down. It is for this reason that Korea should reorganize its fabric industry structure focusing on high performance and differentiated products.

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