The KABC Hybrid Korea Business Forum

Korea’s export industries beyond Chips, Cars and Batteries – Nuclear and Armaments

8.00am – 10.00am Thursday 21 September 2023 at the Online Seminar Room (Zoom)

Once again our anticipated room for the in-person session on Thursday was not available.  Every other potential room in Seoul also appears to be booked.   We therefore have to announce that Thursday’s session will only be held online.  Everyone who signed up for the in-person event will receive the online code and invitiation on Wednesday afternoon about 5pm.   We apologize for not being able to secure adequate offline accommodation, but hope you will still join us for the online event.

Despite the title this session will give due attention to all Korea’s major exports.  However it then looks at the potential for further exports of nuclear and armaments in detail, and also the theme earlier developed in one of our sessions that Korea is a (relatively) safe haven for investment in an era of decoupling or derisking.

After the usual quick round up on the overall economy and the role of exports in the economy, we turn to exports in more detail.

Of the traditional core exports chips, ships and petrochemicals are down compared with a year ago,  chips down 21% in August, petroleum products 35%.  But the petrochemical products and chips were at a higher price (in the case of petrochemicals and refined fuel much higher), so we need to look at the longer term picture than a single year.  Some exports are closely tied to imports so we need to look at the product business cycle as well.  Out of the “traditional” exports only vehicles are doing exceptionally well up 28% in August with EVs constituting 23% of total vehicle exports.  OLED screens also up by 4% despite lower production of screens in Korea.

We will turn to new exports including EVs up 65%, battery components and batteries and then the nuclear industry (which is in part a services story rather than products) and the prospects for Korea’s armament industries with the recent International Defense Industry Exhibition (MSPO), fair in Poland where Hyundai Rotem, Hanwha, KIA, KAI and LIG were well represented along with 25 other companies.

The safe haven thesis develops the idea that Korea’s pivotal role developed by MOFA in their Indo-Pacific Strategy of December 2022 could, with care, make Korea a safe haven for investment from both the US and China.  While it is already happening in the battery components industry there is great interest in the US of investing the other way.

It is ironic that both North and South Korea could be major suppliers of weaponry in the near future, sanctions notwithstanding in the North and the rule of not selling to combatants in the South.   Join us for a good discussion on all these issues.

Yours sincerely

Tony Michell Ph.D
Managing Director, KABC Ltd.


    Name *:



    Email address* :

    Mobile Phone :

    Promotion code :

    Agreement* :
    Confirmed ​I agree to the below collection and use policy of personal information.

    [Personal information collection and use policy]

    1. Types of personal information collected and purpose of use
    The types of personal information collected through this page and the purpose of use are as follows.
    1) Types of personal information to be collected: name, e-mail address
    2) Purpose of use of collected personal information: Information on Korea Business Forum and related events through e-mail, and delivery of related information

    2. Processing and retention period of personal information
    1) The Korea Business Forum retains and processes personal information within the period of retention and use of personal information agreed upon when collecting personal information from the information subject, or the retention and use period of personal information in accordance with laws and regulations.
    2) The retention period of the collected personal information is until the business processing specified in the purpose of use is completed, and the collected personal information is destroyed as soon as the business processing is completed.

    * Required

    Published On: September 7th, 2023 / Categories: Event, Korea Business Forum /

    The organisation that anticipates change and is always ready  (something odd about the character which breaks up “organisation”)

    We are always awake, quickly understands the value of information, and always thinks about and prepares strategies to respond to it.


    KABC has extensive experience in strategic studies, change management, and mergers and acquisitions.

    Learn more


    We regard ourselves as masters of Korean statistics which comes from macroeconomic as well as microeconomic work.

    Learn more


    KABC provides information services to foreign companies operating in Korea and foreign governments in Korea.

    Learn more


    KABC provides regular events including KBF and adhoc events and briefings about Korea

    Learn more