While South Korea was one of the early epicentres of COVID-19 community spread, the number of deaths resulting from infection is remarkably low, seemingly through a stringent testing policy that many other countries are hoping to emulate.
South Korea ended its social distancing campaign and implemented an “Everyday Life Quarantine” scheme on 6 May. However, further localised waves of infections dampened early optimism.
South Korea is a high potential market for New Zealand companies, and while there are some common challenges facing exporters, there is also an opportunity to secure more market share for certain products with the right strategy, particularly once Korea begins to transition back to normalcy.
Many large Korean corporations have sizeable cash reserves and are good at getting products to market. This often pairs well with the creativity of small New Zealand companies - so now may well be an opportune time to look into, or expand to, Korea.
Challenges with export logistics are likely to be first and foremost. However, demonstrating strong communication utilising e-channel technology, together with a definitive commitment to the market in the long term, will stand you in good stead.
According to reports from the New Zealand Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), the New Zealand brand appears to be benefiting from New Zealand’s successful response to COVID-19, creating a good impression with many Korean stakeholders.