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Korea should turn eyes to Central Asia for manufacturing base: report

22 June 2016

South Korean companies need to turn their eyes to the resource-rich Central Asian region to overcome current hardships like rising production costs and faltering global demand, a report said Wednesday.

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the two leading countries in Central Asia, have put their policy priority on fostering their local manufacturing industry, reducing their dependency on natural resources, according to the report released by the state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

It said the two countries are opening their market to attract overseas investment and technology by designating a number of special economic zones for foreign plants.

China has moved swiftly to tap into the Central Asian countries, as the Beijing government is pushing infrastructure development projects in the region, and some Chinese companies are already doing business in Uzbekistan's special districts.

The KOTRA report said South Korean companies should grab the new opportunities in the newly emerging markets.

"Central Asia is no longer a resource-developing region. It can be one of the most potential manufacturing bases for South Korean firms," said the report.