S. Korea firms urged to expand presence in Africa

SEOUL-- South Korean companies are urged to redouble efforts to expand into Africa's rapidly growing consumer goods markets to secure a new growth driver, a state-run trade promotion agency said Tuesday.

In a report, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) said domestic trading companies need to forge ties with African sales networks and online shopping malls to develop localized products and promote them to woo local customers.

"The African population, currently at 1.2 billion, will likely exceed the population of China and India within the next 10 years. Moreover, its consumer goods market is expected to grow by an average of over 10 percent each year to reach US$525.9 billion by 2021 from $350.5 billion last year," the report said.

The rising middle class, known as 'Black Diamonds,' are sensitive to trends in the markets and spend more on high-end products such as cosmetics, healthcare products, TVs and refrigerators, it said.

Young Africans aged between 15 and 26 have recently emerged as a major purchasing power in the consumer goods markets. They increasingly shop online on the back of the spread of the internet and smartphones, KOTRA said.

Africa's online shopping market is projected to reach $50 billion in 2018 from $8 billion in 2013, it said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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