Opinion: China’s Loss Is Korea’s Gain In Africa

Opinion: China’s Loss Is Korea’s Gain In Africa

Korea, home to gigantic and popular brands Samsung, Hyundai and LG, needs to seize opportunities in Africa now that China’s input there “is rapidly backfiring,” says a Korean professor of diplomacy, according to a report in Standard Media.

Korean needs to shift its foreign policy to focus more on emerging markets in Africa and South America, said Prof. Taehwan Kim with Korea National Diplomatic Academy.

Africa is the one remaining growing continent with diverse opportunities that Korea cannot afford to lose or avoid, Kim said at press conference at the academy in Seoul.

Samsung is the most popular mobile phone manufacturer among South Africans and No. 2 among the country’s top-selling cell phones, Fin24 reported in May. Apple’s iPhone 6 was the more popular smartphone until Samsung launched the Galaxy S6, according to Phonefinder CEO Lance Krom. But Blackberry retains the No. 1 spot.

In fact Samsung smartphones rule the market in most parts of the world because of their ubiquity, affordability, and variety, Quartz reported in 2014.

When it comes to Korean cars, the Hyundai i20 is now in the South African Top 10, according to bestsellingcarsblog.

Hyundai outsells Toyota in four major African markets including Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Angola, Africa.com reported.

Korea’s foreign policy includes continuing to maintain alliance with the U.S., nourishing good relationship with China, improving the inter-Korean relations and laying groundwork for reunification, Kim told reporters.

“Our studies show China is exporting workers abroad, which is not resonating well with the locals,” Kim said. “It is backfiring.

“My advice to Korea is to pay attention to Africa now. Africa is on the rise in terms of mobile connectivity and all development areas. Africa has many natural resources that Korea can help in exploring,” said Kim, according to Standard Media.

In 1945, Korea was divided into Soviet and U.S. occupation zones, with the South becoming the Republic of Korea in 1948, Standard Media reports. Journalists visited the demilitarised zone, that forms the boundary between North and South Korea. The two countries have been technically at war for more than 60 years.

Korea has the technological and financial capacity to help boost infrastructure development in Africa, Kim said.