By the late s, the capacity of the South Korean motor industry had increased more than fivefold since ; it exceeded 1 million units in Total production including buses and trucks for totaled 1. South Korea today has developed into one of the world's largest automobile producers. Hyundai Kia Automotive Group is Korea's largest automaker.
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Mining Most of the mineral deposits in the Korean Peninsula are located in North Korea, with the South only possessing an abundance of tungsten and graphite. Coal, iron ore, and molybdenum are found in South Korea, but not in large quantities and mining operations are on a small scale. Much of South Korea's minerals and ore are imported from other countries. Most South Korean coal is low-grade anthracite that is only used for heating homes and boilers. Construction Construction has been an important South Korean export industry since the early s and remains a critical source of foreign currency and invisible export earnings.
By overseas construction projects, most of them in the Middle East, accounted for 60 percent of the work undertaken by South Korean construction companies. Armaments South Korea has also outsourced its defense industry to produce various core components of other countries' advanced military hardware.
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Those hardware include modern aircraft such as FK fighters and AH attack helicopters which will be used by Singapore, whose airframes will be built by Korea Aerospace Industries in a joint-production deal with Boeing. In other major oursourcing and joint-production deals, South Korea has jointly produced the S air defense system of Russia via Samsung Group, and will facilitate the sales of Mistral class amphibious assault ships to Russia that will be produced by STX Corporation.
Tourism In , Seoul is the principal tourist destination for visitors; popular tourist destinations outside of Seoul include Seorak-san national park, the historic city of Gyeongju and semi-tropical Jeju Island. In South Korea hosted the League of Legends season 4 championship. This section contains economy and business opportunities and from South Korea.
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South Korea economy unexpectedly contracts in first quarter, worst since global financial crisis
In parallel with the drastic increase in mineral exports, North Korea has seen a building boom of sorts. Sanctions have made much of direct trade impossible, but people who have traveled to the Sino-Korean border region and met with Chinese traders confirm that connections remain strong. North Korean business delegations have been coming and going with unabated frequency, despite Chinese sanctions.
One person who spoke to the author recounted a meeting with a Chinese-Korean business person who started manufacturing foodstuffs to donate to localities in impoverished parts of the border region and preserved these connections while their regular business operations were put on hold due to the sanctions. North Koreans involved in foreign trade and economic exchange know they have no better foreign alternative for banking, trade and business than the Chinese system.
And both countries aspire to expand these exchanges.
As of March this year, the bridge remained unconnected to road networks on the North Korean side. In April this year, a new bridge was finally completed between Manpo in North Korea and Jian in China, three years after it was opened. The Chinese provinces bordering North Korea are some of the poorest in the country, and trade with North Korea is a crucial driver for economic activity.
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Judging both by past precedent and future visions, there should be little doubt that China envisions more infrastructure sponsorship in North Korea to spur growth in trade. Despite political and ideological qualms about Chinese dominance, North Korea, too, envisions more robust economic ties. Like China, North Korea expects that trade will grow between the two countries. The sanctions are stifling, to be sure, but in the eyes of both North Korea and China, they are temporary. Some of the most critical SEZs launched under Kim are in the north of the country and geared toward Chinese investors.
In February this year, NK Pro reported that a Chinese firm is making preparations to begin construction of a 1. This is certainly possible, but may be unlikely to happen in practice. It is often said that economics is not a zero-sum game, and that everyone gains from trade.
Stephan Haggard and Myung-Koo Kang
When a country opens up for foreign investments, it matters who gets there first to purchase or lease the land plots in the most lucrative locations, who is able to get the most lucrative contracts for infrastructure investments, mines and the like and who can first establish the most crucial connections with local officials.
North Korea certainly has the tools to steer development toward other countries, but Chinese business interests have an incomparable and massive advantage. As Anna Fifield showed in a recent report , Chinese investors are betting heavily that the US will agree to ease sanctions within a not-too-distant future.
And when sanctions ease, investors will be ready to go.
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The Dandong Zhongkai International Complex, for example, is a planned hub for logistics, housing and malls on the border with North Korea to facilitate the expanded trade that Chinese investors envision with the country. According to Fifield, 90 percent of investment opportunities in the first phase of the project have already been sold. The idea that US investments would flow into North Korea on a large scale if sanctions were lifted is highly exaggerated.
Business ties are not that quickly or easily constructed, and Chinese interests have a huge advantage. The Chinese government is likely not prepared to see its infrastructure investments go unused forever, and eventually, it may well prioritize the economic interests of the border regions over compliance with international sanctions.