2020 roster of world-class products includes 94 newly-picked items and 100 newly-picked companies
President Kwon Pyung-oh Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).
Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) has announced a roster of 817 Korean-made world-class products for 2020 and their 938 companies in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE).
The number of world-class product picks has increased to 874, a rise of 57 items from 817 last year. Their production companies have shot up 66 to 938 this year.
The Korean-made world-class project made its debut in 2001. The project involves selecting beneficiaries among products and companies leading the global markets, World-class product and company picks are offered a comprehensive package of services such as marketing, financing and consulting.
The portion of SMEs among world-class product picks has surged from 52 companies or 37.1 percent in 2001 to 750 companies or 76.3 percent in 2020.
A slate of 817 Korean-made world-class products for 2020 includes 94 newly-picked items and 100 newly-picked companies – 20 incumbent world-class items (33 companies) and 64 next-generation world-class items (67 companies).
Products who place fifth or lower in terms of market share and take a more than 5 percent share and meet given conditions are selected as incumbent world-class items and items capable of converting into a status of incumbent world-class items within seven years are picked as next-generation world-class item products.
Twenty-two items or 26 percent of the beneficiaries come from the electric and electronics sectors. Next comes 17 products or 20 percent which are related to “K-quarantine” in the health industry such as COVID-19 diagnosis kits and air sterilizers.
Many K-quarantine products have been explored as next-generation world-class items under a fast-track regime recognizing emergency authorization under unprecedented conditions.
Eighty-two SMEs and mid-size promising firms or 82 percent have benefited from the fast-tract regime.
In particular, growth trends of SMEs and mid-size promising firms owning world-class items are noteworthy.
A company, located in Gwangju, Jeollanam-do, saw exports surge to $260,000 in 2019, a 486-fold jump from $548 in 2018. Its chair responsive to human body has been selected as one of next-generation world-class items as it has gained patents and certifications in recognition of its technology power.
A company, located in Siheung, Gyeonggi-do, specializes in R&D, production and supply of cosmetic patches In 2016, its skin diagnosis and analysis gadget was designated as a next-generation world-class product.
The company saw exports soar to $3.74 million in 2019, a 13-fold jump from $260,000 in 2018 on the back of the exporting of advanced items employing IT technologies.
A company, located in Yongsan, Seoul, specializes in regenerative medicine. Its synthetic bone graft material product was designated as a next-generation world-class item in 2017.
On the back of rising exports to global markets such as Japan following its pick, the company saw exports surge to $3.67 million in 2019, a 20-fold jump from $170,000 in 2018. Meanwhile, 27 world-class items and 34 companies have been excluded from the roster through qualification screening due to business suspension or closure, disposing of businesses and undermining of market order.
KOTRA’s headquarters in Yangjae-dong, Seoul. (Photos: KOTRA)