Would you please tell us about the role of the Korea Textile Trade Association (KTTA) in the global economy?
The global market is undergoing rapid changes including the global economic slowdown, political uncertainty, and trade protectionism by the new U.S. administration. These changes inevitably pose risks and challenges to Korean exporters. Recognizing and facing up to reality in the midst of the challenging global trade environment, the KTTA aims to help the Korean textile industry, especially the mid-stream sector, rebound. To do so, the KTTA strives to provide an environment and resources that help members develop high value-added products while supporting international market penetration and marketing. Moreover, the KTTA focuses on fulfilling its basic functions in boosting exports of Korean textile products.
Can you outline the reasons for the excellence of Korean textile products?
Korea ranks fourth in textile production technology in the world. The productivity and quality of Korean synthetic fibers are second to none. Korean textiles produced with various weaving and knitting skills, specialized dyeing techniques, and post-processing technology are popular among global buyers. It is therefore no surprise that the country has so many award-winning textile products. The excellence of Korean textiles with high quality, competitive designs and productivity is recognized in trade shows worldwide such as Première Vision in France and Milano Unica in Italy.
Lastly, how would you describe your business philosophy as president of the KTTA?
We can only survive if we change the existing paradigm of the textile industry and focus on “what to sell” rather than “what to produce.” Chinese products have dominated the global textile market with oversupply and factory expansion. It is thus essential and imperative for the Korean textile industry to innovate its structure. We cannot compete without differentiated competences. What is important is to cooperate among companies to reinforce the industry’s competitiveness since it requires great efforts for individual companies to develop differentiated products. On top of cooperation among different streams, it is important for companies within the same stream such as pre- and post-processing, weaving and dyeing companies to work together. It is also a good idea to converge with other industries, meaning convergent thinking is required. In the era where collaboration and convergence are more important than ever, the only way to survive is to develop differentiated materials that can be sold in the global market. The KTTA will focus on this matter and continue striving to support Korean exporters.
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