주한 스웨덴 무역대표부 Tarras Delin 참사관을 최근 신라호텔에서 스웨덴통상사절단과 함께 만나보게 되었다. 스웨덴은 복지사업은 물론, 바이오테크(Bio-Tech)에 기초한 각종 의료장비및 의료시스템에 강세를 보이고 있다.
이미 유럽과의 FTA는 초읽기에 들어갔다. 일간 대한뉴스는 서면 인터뷰를 통해 Tarras Delin 참사관으로부터 한국경제력의 가능성과 스웨덴과의 무역.경제.투자 교류에관해 들어보았다. 아울러 스웨덴 기업들의 특징에 대해서도 들어 보았다.
아래글은 Tarras Delin 참사관이 직접 작성한 글이다.
South Korea is the third largest economy in Asia and the tenth largest in the world. The disposable income of the average Korean is nearly twice that of the average EU citizen. In 20 years from now, Korea is projected to become the eight largest economy in the world (larger than Russia) and in 50 years from now, Goldman Sachs estimates that Korea will have the highest GDP per capita among the world’s 22 largest economies higher than Japan and the USA. This clearly shows why Korea should be a market of strategic importance for any export oriented company. Yet, when it comes to healthcare, South Korea lags behind other OECD members. With 5.4 percent of GDP going to healthcare, it has the OECD’s lowest spending as percentage of GDP. Relative to its economic standing, Korea usually comes out poorly on healthcare indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality, hospital bed rate and number of physicians per capita.
The underinvestment in healthcare, and the changes in social structures (disintegrating families), demographics (population growth, urbanization and rapidly ageing population) and policies (extended healthcare insurance policies and improved reimbursement systems), are all factors contributing to the rapid growth of the healthcare sector. In particular the medical equipment market is booming. With an average growth rate of 15 percent per year for the past five years, it is indeed the fastest growing market in Asia .
Swedish companies and professionals have provided healthcare in Korea for several decades, starting by the dispatch of a 200 bed mobile field hospital in 1950, only two weeks after the outbreak of the Korean war. During the war a total of 1,124 Swedish men and women served at the hospital. In 1958, the Scandinavian National Medical Centre was set up as the then most advanced hospital in the country. The hospital was given to the Korean state in 1968 after having seen the service of hundreds of Swedish doctors and nurses.
Today, there are over fifty leading Swedish healthcare companies present in Korea covering a broad range of healthcare services and products and Sweden is well renowned in Korea for its advanced healthcare sector and welfare system.
Under the leadership of Dr. Daein Kang, the Daniel Medical Center, in cooperation with the Swedish Trade Council, Swecare Foundation and the Swedish medical equipment industry, is now planning to open up a Swedish Ageing Well Center in Korea, where Korean and Swedish knowledge, technologies and personnel will be exchanged with the objective of providing the best possible care for the elderly population. This will be a center of excellence functioning as a pilot facility which we hope can inspire a further roll-out in Korea . We think this cooperation will be highly beneficial for both nations. Korea will benefit through the transfer of Swedish knowledge of how to set up state-of-the-art elderly care services, modeled on Sweden ’s long-experience in the field. The Swedish industry will make inroads to the Korean market and be able to show-case its solutions to prospective customers.
The aim of the Swedish Trade Council is to assist Swedish companies in growing internationally. The Swedish Trade Council has significant experience from international business development and is represented in 46 countries with own offices employing some 500 personnel. In Korea , the Swedish Trade Council is represented through its office in Seoul . The office is currently in a phase of rapid expansion with the goal of doubling its revenues by the end of 2008.
Instrumental in achieving this objective will be to further build our network in the Korean market, improve our knowledge on the important Korean industry segments, carefully segment the market back home and step up our marketing activities towards target Swedish companies to make sure they realize the full potential of what the Korean market can offer. Korea is squeezed between the second largest economy in the world, Japan , and the “world’s factory”, China . Not many Swedish people realize that the Korean economy is the size of India ’s (although it has only 4% of its population) and nearly half the size of China ’s. To improve the knowledge about the Korean market must be one the most important task of the Swedish Trade Council and for me personally as the Trade Commissioner here in Korea .
Trade Commissioner/Swedish Trade Council
국제부 이명근 기자