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한국의 대인도 수출경쟁력과 애로요인 분석 표지
Policy Analyses Detail View
Title An Analysis on the Competitiveness and Difficulties in Korea’s Export to India
Author Choongjae Cho, Young Chul Song, Jung-Mi Lee, and ChiHyun Yun
Series Policy Analyses 18-15
Language Korean
Date 2018-12-28

   In July 2018, President Moon Jae-in announced the new target of achieving $50 billion in trade between India and Korea by 2030 following a summit meeting with Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India. Despite the Korean government naming India as a key partner in line with its New Southern Policy, trade between the two countries has remained stagnant since reaching the $20 billion mark in 2011. As such, this is a timely opportunity for research that can contribute toward attaining the trade target. This study mainly focuses on Korea’s export to India, identifying the factors contributing to export stagnation, and going on to present policy suggestions to enhance Korea’s export competitiveness in the Indian market.
   Chapter 1 introduces the factors that determine stagnation of trade examined in previous studies, which can be classified into internal and external factors. The former category refers to factors that determine intra-company competitiveness, while the latter factors are those beyond the control of individual companies and which can also be explained as cyclical or structural factors. Based on these factors, the following chapters analyze the main factors that are affecting the stagnation of Korea’s export towards India from various perspectives.
   Chapter 2 identifies three noticeable factors behind export downturns based on the changes in the structures of Indian imports and Korea’s exports to India. The first factor is an expansion of local production and non-tariff barriers in India. The government of India is promoting local production by utilizing the “Make in India” campaign and has been implementing various non-tariff barriers which have contributed to a slowdown in Indian imports. Another factor is the massive expansion of China’s export to India. China’s share in the Indian import market has been increasing rapidly, especially in major categories such as electronic devices, machinery, organic chemicals, steel, plastic and automobile parts. Lastly, Korea’s lack of export capacity also seems to have contributed to export stagnation. There are some items in which Korea’s exports are unable to fully meet India’s import demand, including various plastic polymers, synthetic rubber products, some kinds of machinery, electronic devices, and automobile parts. These products are being replaced by goods from other countries, mostly China, and considering that these represent some of Korea’s main export items, the situation is highly critical.
   Chapter 3 examines changes in the export competitiveness of major items that Korea exports to India. Our results indicate that many of the items that show a deterioration in competitiveness within the Indian market bear relation to the decline in global competitiveness of Korean products. Some other items showed a rise in competitiveness in the global market but declined in the Indian market, which largely seems to be due to lower price competitiveness compared to Chinese products. Meanwhile, changes caused by localization, the India-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), and non-tariff measures also seem to have had a negative impact on the competitiveness of Korean goods. For example, the expansion of localization in India has led to a decline in the export competitiveness of Korean automobile parts, and the concession ratio of the Korea-India CEPA, set at a less favorable level to the India-Japan CEPA, has had a negative impact on the competitiveness of Korean plastic goods. Moreover, India’s non-tariff measures partially affected the declining competitiveness in Korean exports of organic chemicals, rubber, and steel.
   Chapter 4 examines the internal and external factors of stagnation in Korean exports to India based on the results of a questionnaire survey conducted on 300 exporting companies. The external factors reported as the most influential were excessive competition in the Indian market and decline of Korean companies’ competitive advantages. On the other hand, the lack of competence in locating the local market and securing distribution and sales networks, the decline in productivity and competitiveness of individual enterprises, and the decline in export due to localization were the major internal factors identified. In addition, the low awareness and utilization of the Korea-India CEPA is also likely to have contributed to Korea’s sluggish export to India.
   Based on the above analyses, Chapter 5 examines the factors of export stagnation for individual items by structuring them into a matrix, and presents policy directions and tasks to enhance export competitiveness for the individual factors. In terms of enhancing competitiveness against internal factors, the results suggest that implementing active response measures to changes in India’s industry and demand structure, establishing active partnerships with local companies, and reinforcing intra-company export capabilities through the utilization of the existing CEPA would be beneficial. Against the external factors, the study emphasizes the necessity of strengthening inter-governmental cooperation to build a long-term, stable trade network. Reducing non-tariff barriers, advancing negotiations for the improvement of the CEPA, and establishing a virtuous cycle of trade through localization and the global value chain (GVC) are also recommended.
   This study confirms that the stagnation of Korea’s export to India is not a temporary phenomenon or limited to specific items, and could become prolonged or even permanent. In this regard, Korean companies and the government need to find new breakthroughs to enhance export competitiveness in the Indian market. To this end, it is imperative to build a virtuous cycle between export and investment that can enhance the scope and quality of trade by increasing investment or localization, and constructing bilateral cooperation projects. In order to develop more specific cooperation plans, the government should promote joint research on Korea-India trade, expand business-matching programs, establish a cooperation fund to support collaborative projects between the two nations, and develop a Korean-style manufacturing city within India to promote localization and GVCs. 

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