Reports from SERI Quarterly, SERI's in-depth quarterly journal on the Korean and Northeast Asian economies
- January 2013 The Offshore Platform Industry: Changes and Opportunities
Booming demand for oil is spurring firms to look further and further offshore, providing a new source of demand for Korea’s offshore platform builders. Higher safety standards and the rise of national oil companies are further shaping this industry. Korean firms hoping to profit from these changes will need new operating models as well as collaboration with researchers in academia.
January 2013 US Policy Toward North Korea
US policy toward North Korea is evolving as the Obama administration enters its second phase. The former policy of “strategic patience” has shifted toward more active engagement as the administration launched its “pivot to Asia.” The election of Park Geun-Hye adds another variable, with several different scenarios likely to prevail.
Both China and the US want stability on the Korean peninsula, but they often differ as to how to achieve it. China is skeptical of US attempts at containment of its influence in Asia, while the US would prefer that China be more proactive in dealing with the North. Both countries are likely to continue a pattern of conflict and cooperation on North Korea as the situation evolves.
The arrival of smart phones and tablets along with social networking services has made it easier than ever for dissatisfied consumers to organize and for complaints to spread and multiply. Smart companies, however, need not see this as a burden, and can use complaints as an opportunity to learn about consumers and develop new products.
Korea’s baby boomers are set to redefine retirement, presenting new opportunities for companies seeking to serve them. Baby boomers will seek new kinds of leisure and healthcare, as well as active relationships with their families and communities. Companies seeking to market anti-aging, travel, and knowledge sharing services can benefit handsomely.
The competition for global employees is entering a new phase that emphasizes successfully utilizing, rather than just recruiting a skilled international workforce. Korean firms looking for a successful adjustment will need to do more than just hiring, including helping foreign employees support each other and building a globalized work environment.
While exports helped Korea bounce back strongly from the global financial crisis, the prolonged downturn is inevitably dragging down its economy. On the external front, Korea confronts risks from the eurozone, slowing growth in China and uncertainty in the US economy, while domestically, Korea must tackle high household debt and a sagging real estate market.