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The role of small and medium-sized enterprises in Korean high-tech export clusters: The case of electronics and pharmaceuticals

This chapter looks into the participation of the Republic of Korea’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in two high-tech export clusters led by Korean multinational corporations (MNCs). The first cluster is electronics, which accounted for one fifth of Korean exports to Latin America in 2013. The second is pharmaceuticals, which has a small but growing share in exports. Two case studies, based on company reports and interviews, illustrate some of the advantages and disadvantages for SMEs supplying MNCs in these clusters. SMEs have a larger role in the more developed electronics industry than in the pharmaceutical industry. This may be explained, in part, by government support in the first industry, which has enhanced business opportunities for SMEs.

Related Subject(s): International Trade and Finance
Sustainable Development Goals:
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