Data released by South Korea's trade ministry showed that a total of 126 companies returned home between 2014 and 2022 after expanding their businesses in foreign countries. About 77 percent returned after closing down business in China. Although China was favored by small and medium-sized manufacturers for cheap labor and operating costs for almost two decades. However, a 2021 survey conducted by the Federation of Korean Industries showed that worsened investment environments and political risks were the main factors that led South Korean companies to pull their businesses out of China.
South Korea's semiconductor makers have struggled with the U.S. CHIPS Act, which restricts funding recipients from increasing semiconductor manufacturing operations in China and other countries that have been designated as national security threats according to US law. South Korean chipmakers such as Samsung Electronics and SK hynix are currently running chip factories in China.
The forum titled "Korea and China Future Economic Cooperation Forum" took place on September 14 at the South Korean branch of China Construction Bank. Chinese Ambassador Xing Haiming said this year marks the 31st anniversary of the diplomatic relations, adding that he hopes the forum will enhance the cooperation.
Cho Cul, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade, stressed that the two nations' supply chain infrastructure will be affected by the US-China conflict. "Both countries need to gain a competitive edge in areas in which they are inferior to developed nations as well as expand mutual trade," Cho said.
Tu Xianquan, the president of the China Institute for WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics, also took part in the event. Other Chinese speakers include Yan Chuanmiao, a principal engineer at Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited, and Xu Ming, dean of the global health department at Peking University.
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