When asked about the economic powers of Europe, people will mostly reply with the standard answers of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, while very few will mention Switzerland, which enjoys a high standard of living and is home to some of the largest companies in the world. Similarly, when asking the same question about Asia, though there will be many mentions of China, Japan, Taiwan, or even India, one of Asia’s most advanced and affluent countries, South Korea, seems to get lost in the discussion. Looking closely at South Korea, then, it is surely deserving of more than a “mention”, as the “Miracle on the Han River” has certainly been impressive.
Unlike China, which, due to size and economic planning, has been able to modernise rather quickly, or Japan, which was the first Asian market to export globally following World War 2, South Korea has done more with less and in less time. Despite having less than 4% of China’s population and entering the export market almost a decade after Japan, South Korea’s results speak for themselves:
South Korean GDP per capita (PPP, 2014) is $35,379, trailing Japan by only $2,140 and almost 3 times that of China.
For a relatively small country, South Korea is the 5th largest exporter and 7th largest importer in the world.
First in R&D spending and patents filed per GDP, first in e-government, 4G-LTE, internet speed, IoT devices, etc.
Aside from what has happened within South Korea, it is just as interesting to see the growth of South Korean brands internationally, especially aside from the already well-known electronic companies, LG and Samsung. In the automotive category, Hyundai, through their own brand as well as Kia, has grown to become the 4th largest global automobile manufacturer, and Kumho/Marshal has become commonplace when it comes to tyres for our cars. Often seeing their name on shipping containers, many are familiar with the shipping, logistical, and travel services offered by Hanjin and Korean Air. In the global construction and engineering industry, Daewoo E&C and Samsung Engineering are major names.
Seeing the growth, depth, and breadth of the South Korean economy, it is somewhat surprising that, considering their impact in Asia, Latin America, and North America, many South Korean firms have yet to make a substantial impact in Europe. Unfortunately, the prime reason for this lies in communication: considering the different languages and customs within Europe, finding the right way to introduce your South Korean company to consumers and advertise your products can be a repetitive and costly process which can quickly derail any budget. Thankfully, there is a solution which can provide a cost-effective access to and localisation specialisation within the European market.
EVS Translations has helped South Korean clients from all industry sectors to achieve smooth communication with their European business partners by providing professional, reliable, and confidential translation and interpreting services in a multitude of language combinations. Where a South Korean company may struggle to find the right resources for a translation project—whether it’s a French to English translation or English to German translation—EVS Translations can provide the expertise of its comprehensive in-house service to deliver superior quality. What’s more, with over two decades of experience in providing professional Korean translation services for commercial clients across the world, in a diverse range of industries, EVS Translations is your preferred partner for all Korean business language projects.
Find more information about how EVS Translations can support South Korean companies with difficult-to-source language combinations, or to learn about our Korean language services contact us today.