SEOUL, Aug. 3 (Korea Bizwire) — A new report has claimed South Korea’s ageing population will reshape the landscape of the country’s industry.
The report from the Bank of Korea (BOK) released on Wednesday discusses the relationship between an ageing population and industrial structure, welfare and the healthcare service industry.
In the report, Kang Jong-gu, the chief of the BOK, says, “As the structure of South Korean population changes, manufacturing jobs will decrease while customer service jobs increase in the country’s total added value.”
The findings come after the BOK analyzed population forecasts for South Korea and compared them with data gathered between 1970 and 2011 among OECD member countries.
The report comes as a surprise to many as the South Korean economy has traditionally relied heavily on the manufacturing industry.
In 2009, manufacturing accounted for over just 28 percent of the South Korean economy, well above the OECD average of 16.05 percent.
On the other hand, the service industry accounted for 60.34 percent, nearly 10 percent below the OECD average of 70.93 percent.
According to the report, however, all of this is about change in the coming years, as the growing elderly population will see demand for products such as clothes go down while consumption in the health care and medical industry increases.
In terms of jobs, the food and beverage as well as chemical products industries are set to grow, while the education, wholesale and retail industries face grim prospects, the report said.
When it comes to productivity within the manufacturing industry, the fields of chemical products, food and beverage and transport machines were expected to take a major hit, while rosy predictions were made for the fields of public administration, finance, insurance and transportation.
The report urged restructuring and focusing on foreign markets while calling for long-term measures to tackle a labor shortage in the fields of high-skilled manufacturing and public administration.
“As population ageing accelerates, the demand for the manufacturing industry in South Korea will diminish. To counteract, branching out into foreign markets is necessary,” the report said.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)