German Machine Tool Industry Has its Sights Firmly Set on South Korea

For decades now, South Korea, as an up-and-coming industrialised nation, has ranked among the most important markets of the future, not least in the high-tech sector. It is regarded as fiercely contested. Nonetheless, the country offers great economic potential. This has long since been taken on board by the German manufacturers of high-precision, high-performance machine tools, who aim to further intensify their business with South Korea in the future.
Following a successful first event in 2012, 23 German manufacturers of machine tools showcased their products, solutions and services at the Technology Symposium hosted by the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association VDW in Seoul on 17 and 18 March. 270 representatives from South Korean companies responded to the VDW’s invitation. They came predominantly from the automotive industry, the general mechanical engineering sector, and the metalworking industry.
2013 and 2014 were boom years for South Korea. Last year, for example, machine tool consumption rose by 5 percent to reach 3.6 billion euros. For 2015 and 2016, the VDW’s British forecasting partner, Oxford Economics, expects a significantly more vigorous dynamic, with growth rates of almost ten percent.
The most important foreign supplier is Japan, which accounts for up to half of South Korea’s imports. The German sector is the second-biggest supplier, and following a record year in 2013 meanwhile accounted in the following year for 17 percent of total imports. For German vendors, the task now is to keep on tapping this huge potential.
South Korea has in recent years evolved into a significant growth market for the German machine tool industry. Starting from 25th place in the rankings for the most important sales markets and 162 million euros in 2008, German exports have risen by almost 13 percent to most recently around 183 million euros last year.
Currently, the country lies 15th in the export rankings, and is behind China, but well in front of India and Japan, the second-most-important customer in Asia. The most significant export technologies are machining centres, laser machines, grinding and gear-cutting machines. (Source: VDW)
Links: VDW

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