January 19, 1998 (SEOUL) -- Korean producers of personal computers are preparing to boost exports
to dig out of the financial turmoil afflicting most of the country's major companies.
Many Korean companies are struggling to survive and they seek to get more dollars for their
exports. The computer industry, which accounted for 4.4 percent of Korea's exports in 1997, is
gearing up for an export drive.
That is an alarming prospect for global computer makers because Korean companies now have a
strong cost advantage, something they had lost due to high labor costs in the past.
The won lost more than 40 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar in 1997 and depreciated
further in the first two weeks of 1998. The Korean unit has also weakened against other major
Korean exports are now much less expensive in terms of dollars, giving Korean manufacturers a
pricing edge in foreign markets.
Keyword:Korea's PC industry
The Korean PC industry has been realigned around large manufacturers as a result of a shakeup in
1997. Four mid-sized PC makers collapsed under piles of debt, leaving major players competing for
domestic and export market share. Samsung Electronics is the biggest in terms of PC output and
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(James Lim, Asia BizTech Correspondent)