Beyond uncertainty lies opportunities: First-movers―market-creating innovation and market busters

Changes in the US-China relationship, as represented by their trade conflicts, can be key challenges or opportunities for Koreans, depending on how they respond. The security and economic landscapes of the world as well as the Korean Peninsula and the Southeast Asia are changing significantly as the relationship of the US and China, two pillars supporting international order, changes.

If the structure of a system changes, its rules also change. The US and China have been competing for new rules, norms and systems in global governance and regional supremacy as well as in economic and trade areas.

The experts that MoneyToday Media’s Global Conference K.E.Y. PLATFORM have met predict that the US will continue its war for hegemony with China to maintain its leadership in the international order and its firm hold on global standards.

Such changes are very steep and fast, especially after the inauguration of the Trump Administration. Therefore, it is our highest priority to figure out President Trump’s perceptions, judgment, thoughts and strategies accurately and specifically.

We desperately need to safeguard our economic and security interests, with the Trump Administration at the helm of the international order and amid the changing US-China relationship. We must do all we can do to prevent these changes from turning into instability factors for the regional order in the Northeast Asia surrounding the Korean Peninsula. The experts that the K.E.Y. PLATFORM team has met advise that a cooperative and multilateral regional order can be a strategic vision for Korea.

Also, opportunities lie even in the intensifying competition between the US and China. With China, our largest trading partner and competitor, we should pursue a “super-gap” strategy to widen the gaps in the areas where we have competitive advantages, securing our impregnable lead over latecomers. To ensure economic cooperation and competition on equal terms with China, we should create our own goods and services–for which we have comparative advantages–through the super-gap strategy.

In the process of coverage and research in and out of Korea, K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2019 has found clues indicating that the Korean economy and businesses can be first-movers through market-creating innovation. All the markets of the world want Korean products and services. Markets that Korean exporters have not yet approached close enough desire them all the more.

Breaking away from existing perspectives that divide markets into developed and emerging markets along the regional lines, we can take a new approach to classifying “regions” and markets. This is as good as creating new market spaces. We can be first-movers in markets yet to be discovered fully.

In West Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe and South America, the following regions are waiting to be discovered as “markets that can be created”: regions that may be small in economic size but big in growth potential, regions growing stably on the strength of large shares of domestic consumption even at a time of high external uncertainty, and regions that have a high percentage of the young population when even emerging markets are faced with the threat of aging society.

North Korea is also a market where we can be a first-mover as advances in peace-building efforts for the Korean Peninsula are helping to speed up economic cooperation. On the international front, we can also play leading roles in markets where we have strengths, including infrastructure, construction, distribution, consumer goods, energy, automobiles, ICT, resources, and tourism.

Hyundai Motors, one of the companies representing the Korean industry, was a latecomer that entered into the race 70 years later than leading countries, but it has become a first-mover by creating a market for hydrogen-electric cars.

K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2019 seeks to find ways to become “market busters” who △ seize opportunities that changes create, △ create new market spaces, △ make products far better than competitors, and △ grow rapidly and become game-changers by selling new values.