Since the early 1960s, South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth and integration into high-tech modern world economy. Four decades ago the GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. Today its GDP per capita is 18 times North Korea's and equal to the lesser economies of the European Union. This success through the late 1980s was achieved by a system of close government/business ties, including directed credit, import restrictions, sponsorship of specific industries, and a strong labour effort. Korea is ranking number five of car manufacturers world wide. The world is turning its attraction to Korea with the most suitable infrastructure such as the Incheon International Airport, established as northeast Asia's hub port. Northeast Asia is quickly rising as the world's largest automobile producer and consumer at the same time. With more than 3.5 Mio. produced units (9 % cars, 7 % trucks and 3 % buses) and about 2 Mio. registered cars in 2009, the Korean automobile industry is an important customer for international suppliers. International companies benefit from the sustained openness of the domestic market towards foreign products. The market share of import cars was 4,94 % in 2009. European manufacturers ranking on position two behind Asia with a market share of 36 % of imported cars. Quality upgrades and attractive production volumes offer great chances for the international automotive supplier industry. With the increase in auto parts demand, the Northeast Asian region has become one of the world's most vital markets.
Northeast Asia is rising as the world's greatest cluster of autoparts Industries. The potential of this region is unlimited, considering the synergy effects displayed by the coupling of the technological and price competition of the three countries.
Key Region - Focus on Seoul
The metropolis of Seoul is the cultural and economic heart of the country. Seoul is an intriguing city that is transforming itself from the Yi Dynasty capital of the Hermit Kingdom to a major player on the international scene, especially in the field of commerce, culture and sports. Nowhere else is the Korean drive to come to terms with a turbulent and fractured past so evident.
Seoul is a megalopolis with more than 10 million citizens. There is a wide range of distribution channels and facilities to connect consumers with producers or manufacturers. The Seoul Metropolitan Area, including Gyeonggi Province and Incheon, is a large consumer market with a population of 23 million.
The City of Seoul has nearly 10 million people with strong purchasing power and a high level of income. Encompassing the City of Incheon and Gyeonggi Province, the Seoul Metropolitan Area (SMA) has 21.5 million people, which accounts for 45.6 percent of the Korean population.
Seoul is a safe and friendly city with a low crime rate. Seoulites work long hours but also enjoy socialising and are generally more than kind to foreign visitors. If you look lost, someone is bound to offer to help you.