Designing effective industrial and science, technology and innovation (STI) policies is still an ongoing quest for both developed and developing countries. This book examines industrial as well as STI policies in East Asian countries South Korea and Japan comparatively. Japan is one of the largest industrial economies in the world. However, it is experiencing competitiveness problems with a relative fall in its manufacturing industry indicators such as exports. Korea is, on the other hand, a rapidly rising industrial power challenging larger peers including Japan. The two economies are competing in similar markets and are on different cycles of development. This book looks at the competitive positions of the two countries in the field of industrial and STI policies in general and in the sectors of railway equipment, medical equipment, aviation equipment and electronics.
Chapter 5: STI and Industrial Policies in Korea: Medical Devices
5.1 Industry Overview
Medical device industries have become one of the major targets of Korea’s industrial policy in recent years. The industry has shown steady growth and is expected to continue the trend, mainly due to the aging population and the demand relating to health. Figure 5.1 shows that the world market has also steadily grown throughout the last decade. North and South America combined form the largest market (45.3%), followed by Western Europe (26.4%), and East Asia (21.0%). East Asia is the fastest growing market. Korea regards the medical device industry as one of the strategic export sectors of the future. Korea’s medical device market is lagging behind more advanced countries in comparison to other manufacturing sectors, and the Korean government has recently implemented industrial policies to promote the industry. It would not only contribute to economic growth and job creation, but would also enhance health services and overall social welfare.
Figure 5.1: Trend of World Medical Device Market (2008~2013)
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