An Overview of S. Korea’s Ceramic Industry


It is anticipated that S. Korea’s ceramic industry will lead the global ceramic technologies and markets, spurred by its well-developed superior information technology (IT) infrastructure.

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Ceramic is an essential material for solar battery, secondary battery, and fuel battery. It is also recognized as one of the basic players for the 4th industry revolution that will contribute to the creation of each nation’s wealth, when applied with information technology (IT).
As of 2016, S. Korea’s trade status for the ceramic industry stood at a deficit of $3.8 billion. Although the volume of deficit is decreasing, Korea’s ceramic industry is still in a chronic deficit among materials industries. The trade deficit against the United States, Japan is still at a severe level.
The reason for this is because the nation’s ceramics industry has weaker competiveness and slower growth speed when compared to those of global advanced nations. Most ceramic manufacturing companies still remain small￾sized and the productivity of the ceramics industry still remains at a low level. And the technology level is also behind those of its rivals. As of 2017, South Korea’s technological gap with Japan turned out to be 1.6 years and the nation is followed by China with a gap of only 2.3 years. In spite of this fact, it is expected that the ceramics industry will remain a very rewarding industry and market for S. Korea.

As of 2025, the global ceramics market is expected to grow by an annual average of 7.8 percent to $676.7 billion. And Korea’s market is predicted to develop yearly average of 4.7 percent to $ 92.1 billion. In an attempt to take the lead among major nations in the ceramics industry including the United States, Japan, the EU, China, etc., Korea was determined to heavily invest in advanced new materials including ceramic as a future basic growth engine.
In South Korea’s ceramic industry, there are a great number of small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with technological know-how accumulated over many years. If South Korea takes advantage of its own developed superior information technology (IT) infrastructure, it is highly likely to lead the ceramic technologies and markets.
And for sustainable development of Korea’s ceramics industry, there are some challenges to be resolved: a higher value-added strategy for overcoming low competiveness needs to be established; there is an urgent need for a higher level of networking for closer cooperation; all companies’ commitment to introducing new technologies and innovation by themselves is necessary; and government’s support is needed for the establishment of larger-scale infrastructure, including construction of exclusive complexes for ceramic areas.

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