Over 80% of executives in Japan and slightly less than 50% of executives in South Korea are hopeful about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact, according to the “Questionnaire Survey of Japanese, Chinese, and South Korean Executives.” The Nikkei jointly conducted the survey with South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper and China’s Global Times, a daily newspaper under the auspices of the People’s Daily. Some 75% of South Korean executives say the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile development programs is “exerting a negative influence on management.”
The questionnaire survey was conducted on Dec. 11–25 last year and targeted executives of 100 companies in each of the three countries.
The South Korean government has not officially announced its participation in the TPP. Nonetheless, 48% of South Korean companies said they are “optimistic about the merits of participating in the TPP even if the United States is not a member.” This is because companies recognize the need to diversify trade. South Korean companies also sense the danger of rival Japan having an advantage in intraregional trade through the TPP in such fields as auto parts. Some 83.7% of Japanese companies said they are hopeful about the TPP. In contrast, 51% of the Chinese companies said they are giving priority to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) over the TPP. Japan, China, and South Korea will participate in the [16-member] RCEP. Only 8% of South Korean companies and 4.3% of Japanese companies are optimistic about the RCEP.
A total of 75% of South Korean companies said the threat of North Korea is having either a “very” or “slightly” negative impact [on management]. This figure is higher than that of Japanese (37. 3%) and Chinese (35%) companies giving that response. The South Korean business community is very concerned about a contraction in investor sentiment and a decrease in foreign tourist numbers. LG Display has a factory for manufacturing large-size panel in Paju City, which is near the Military Demarcation Line. In case of an emergency situation, there could be concerns about the company’s ability to maintain global supply.
[Polling methodology: The Questionnaire Survey of Japanese, Chinese, and South Korean Executives was jointly conducted in December 2017 by the Nikkei, South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper, and China’s Global Times, a daily newspaper under the auspices of the People’s Daily. The executives of 100 companies in each of the three countries responded. Manufacturing made up the largest percentage of responding companies in each country by industry type, with manufacturing firms accounting for 53% of Japanese companies that responded, 40% of Chinese companies, and 42% of South Korean companies.]