Startup & innovation
Rising renewable energy industry
Food services & manufacturing
South Korea is one of the biggest e-commerce markets worldwide, which can be attributed to its high internet and mobile penetration rates among citizens. It is well established in both domestic sales and exports of its fashion, food, and electronics goods.This offers opportunities for companies to provide e-commerce and digital solutions, as well as warehousing and logistics services.
The South Korean government has set its sights on the nation becoming a global innovation hub, providing a range of support to boost the startup ecosystem.South Korea has been ranked one of the world’s most innovative economies. The government continues to invest in building the startup ecosystem, with US$5.6 billion committed to helping venture capital firms invest in startups. Key sectors include blockchain, fintech, biotech, the Internet of Things, entertainment and gaming.
South Korea has good potential for offshore wind and solar renewable projects, given its long coastline, favourable topography, and ample sunlight. The government has ramped up its energy policies to increase the share of renewable energy.South Korea aims to expand its renewable energy sources through initiatives such as providing incentives to new power plants using renewable technologies and doubling energy storage capacities across various industries. The government has also announced new policies and goals to boost the local hydrogen industry, from increasing the production of hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles and the number of liquid hydrogen fuelling stations to using more hydrogen in power generation. This provides opportunities for companies in the transport and renewables sectors.
The South Korean food and beverage (F&B) market is flourishing with high growth rates, and boasts a projected market volume of US$16.4 billion by 2025. Food imports have also increased over the years, with increased demand in food linked to health and wellness benefits.
Areas of focus for the food industry include innovation in alternative protein and cultured meats. There is also growing demand for home meal replacement and ready-to-eat meal (RTE) kits due to South Korean consumers seeking convenience.
With a large food industry, the Korean government established the Korea National Food Cluster (aka Foodpolis) in 2014. This food industrial complex has helped incubate various food innovations such as single usage condiments and packaging and provides a platform for food collaborations with local companies.
Learn about South Korea's business hubs
Busan is a key logistics hub in Northeast Asia and home to the Busan port, which handles about 75% of all container cargoes that enter or exit South Korea. Other key industries in Busan include cloud computing, the Internet of Things, IT, medical, robotics, and green energy.
Gyeonggi is one of South Korea’s fastest growing provinces. It is also a Free Economic Zone, with a focus on the high-tech, logistics, and distribution industries, and the research and development of unmanned vehicles.
A designated Free Economic Zone, Incheon offers investment opportunities in key sectors such as logistics, high-tech industry (IT), bio-healthcare, medical, education and tourism.
South Korea's capital and largest metropolis, Seoul serves as the country's cultural, commercial, financial, industrial and residential centre.