UPDATE : Friday, June 5, 2020
Weak competitiveness hinders biomedicine export to China
  • By Nam Doo-hyun
  • Published 2017.08.08 14:04
  • Updated 2017.08.08 14:04
  • comments 0

Korea’s pharmaceutical companies should urgently strengthen their abilities to increase their market share in China, which is increasing the import of biomedicine products, a state think tank says.

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)대외경제정책연구원 made these and other points in a recent report titled “Changes in Korea’s trade balance with China and policy implications.”

"China is expanding imports in new industries as a result of rising income, emphasis on food safety, environment-friendly growth and upgrading of industrial structure, and Korea needs to enhance its supply capacity and competitive edge in these sectors,” it report said.

The report cited jewelry, cosmetics, “medical devices and pharmaceutical compounds” as some of the expensive products the imports of which are sharply increasing in China as the country’s income level rises.

It pointed out that biomedicine is one of the sectors in which Korea shows weak supply capacity, however.

"Korea’s competitiveness is very low in areas where China’s import demand is sharply growing in keeping with the country's sophisticating industrial structure, such as aircraft parts, industrial robots, and bio products (pharmaceutical compounds),” the report said.

Noting that imports of these products have been on steady rise, it called for sharply strengthening supply capacity in new capital goods and intermediary goods, including cutting-edge equipment, semiconductor, new energy, new material and bio sectors

Biomedicine and high-performance medical equipment were also among the 10 major industries subject for structural upgrading announced by the Chinese Central Government in 2015.

According to Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade (KIET)산업연구원, China’s strategy to promote biomedicine and high-performance medical equipment sectors calls for, among others, developing chemical medicine and biomedicine for serious diseases, upgrading medical equipment’s innovation and commercialization, developing high-performance diagnosing equipment such as visual equipment and medical robot as well as high value-added medical expendable goods, developing products needed for mobile health care services such as wearable and telemedicine, developing bio-3D printers and expanding their application.

To promote the growth of 10 major industries, China’s plans to push for research, development, and application until 2020 actively and sharply increase its market share after that, reducing dependency on overseas suppliers, the KIET report said.


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