The South Korean consumer has become more cosmopolitan and sophisticated.
South Korean millennials constitute 27% of the population of 51 million. This group represents a rising consumer class who is tech savvy and exhibits high international consumer spend. Similarly, there has been a shift in the Generation X’s (25% of the population) consumer behavior as they have high disposable incomes coupled with a greater propensity to spend.
Another important trend is that over 50% of households in Seoul consist of one or two people, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Government. These consumers are willing to pay a premium on convenience and efficiency of goods and services. The change in demographics and demands will bring about new opportunities for Singapore consumer products and services.
South Korea has been a natural market for Singapore F&B brands keen on expanding their global footprint. With new consumer behavior and demands, Enterprise Singapore can help Singapore consumer and lifestyle brands find suitable partners and marketplaces and extend your reach into South Korea.
South Korea is a top e-commerce market in Asia and its e-commerce revenue is expected to reach US$170 billion in 20231. The South Korean e-commerce market is well-established by both domestic sales as well as exports of its beauty products and electronics.
South Korea can expect continual growth in exports to Asia, particularly to ASEAN. It plans to increase the trade volume with ASEAN to US$200 billion by 2020.
If you are an e-commerce solution provider, or offer warehousing or logistics services, you can tap opportunities to provide the capabilities, solutions and networks for South Korean companies expanding into ASEAN.
South Korea is home to world-class technology corporations supported by strong SMEs. South Korea has also grown a vibrant startup ecosystem with new ideas and technologies to meet today’s demands. There are an estimated 30,000 startups and venture investment volume reached a record of US$3 billion in 20182.
South Korea can be a potential source market for Singapore companies seeking highly innovative and increasingly value-for-money technologies to scale up your business competitiveness in Asia.
In addition, there are many opportunities for Singapore companies to co-create technology solutions with South Korean companies. You can partner key South Korean industry clusters and research institutes, such as Korea Technology and Information Promotion Agency for SMEs (TIPA), for intellectual property transfer and co-development.
For startups, we can connect you to both public and private accelerators and incubators that have comprehensive programmes to ease your market entry and investment pitching in South Korea.
The South Korean government’s New Southern Policy under President Moon Jae-in’s administration seeks to elevate strategic cooperation and ties with ASEAN. Recognising that an efficient and systematic approach to infrastructure development will improve connectivity in ASEAN, which is essential to achieving shared prosperity, the South Korean government has outlined its commitment to support the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, particularly in the area of sustainable infrastructure.
In July 2018, Enterprise Singapore and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, with included scope to jointly undertake Smart City and Infrastructure Development projects in ‘third country’ markets outside of Singapore and South Korea (e.g. including but not limited to geographies such as ASEAN), facilitated through sharing of industry and market knowledge.
Singapore businesses can take advantage of Enterprise Singapore’s efforts to cultivate key in-market multipliers for investment leads identification, and collaborate with strategic partners in global markets.
You can also consider partnerships with South Korean firms to identify and collaborate on infrastructure project opportunities in ASEAN or India, across the infrastructure verticals such as smart cities development, green energy, environment, buildings, renewables, utilities and transport.