Global Markets: Doing business in South Korea

Global Markets: Doing business in South Korea

The global market place is continually growing and evolving, and the number of Michigan businesses venturing into the realm of international trade is on the rise. At a time when reaching consumers and new foreign markets is easier than ever, your business may be asking, “Where do we go next?”

Consider doing business in South Korea. With a population of 51 million people, the Republic of Korea’s USD 1 trillion economy is export-driven and relies heavily on international trade. As Korea’s national GDP continues growing in 2015 and with a consistent placement in the top 10 countries of which Michigan exports goods, the South Korean market provides exciting opportunities for Michigan businesses.

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[DOWNLOAD: Global Markets: Doing business in South Korea white paper]

Three years ago, the United States and Republic of Korea signed a Free Trade Agreement to ultimately benefit both countries’ trade. The Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), which took effect in March 2012, is the United States’ largest FTA since NAFTA and is expected to increase U.S. exports to Korea by USD 10-12 billion.

Navigating a new market can be a daunting task for any business, but there are common business practices found among Michigan businesses experiencing success in the South Korea.  The U.S. Commercial Service’s 2015 Country Commercial Guide recommends the following tips when entering the South Korean market:

  • Develop a local presence: Knowing the business landscape of any market is crucial. Having an intelligent and well-connected distributor or representative in South Korea may give companies the competitive advantage needed to succeed.
  • Establish and maintain strong business relationships: Visit this vibrant market, get to know the consumer and let the consumer get to know you. If consumers can put a name with a face, it may be the deciding factor in having them chose your brand over a competitor.
  • Utilize available resources: Entering new markets and launching into the unknown can be unsettling, but it doesn’t have to be. There is a wealth of local, state and federal resources available to Michigan businesses looking to enter this promising market and most are just a click away!

If you are interested in learning more, Grand Valley State University’s Van Andel Global Trade Center, in conjunction with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), will be hosting a Doing Business in South Korea conference focused on available resources, strategic business practices, tips for building relationships and furthering knowledge regarding exports, imports and investments within South Korea.

This one-day conference has been developed for businesses looking to enter the growing and exciting market of South Korea.  Join us on Sept. 18 for “Doing Business in South Korea” from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a networking reception immediately following.

For more information on this program please visit VAGTC.ORG.

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