North East Asia (Japan / Korea)

North East Asia

In times when economically established regions such as Europe and the USA are suffering from stagnation, pan-Asian business models become increasingly important. And so, it is that South Korea and Japan are increasingly emerging as important markets for European high-tech goods, such as those produced by the photonics and automation industries. The fact that South Korea and Japan have many key industries in common with European industry leaders plays an important part in the demand for finished goods and components. Furthermore, both countries are currently intensifying their links with China and are focusing on sustainable improvement in trilateral cooperation. Besides economic aspects, a central feature of the dialogue will involve coming to terms with historical issues. It is important to bear in mind that besides the cultural differences, South Korea and Japan differ in other significant ways – not only from one another but also from China.

South Korea

South Korea is currently the 12th largest industrial nation in the world by GDP and has gone through an impressive economic transformation. Within only two generations, the country has transformed itself from one of the poorest nations in Asia into a flourishing economic powerhouse with the automotive, electronics and semiconductor industries at its core. South Korean companies such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG are world famous, and in some cases, global leaders. One of the fundamental characteristics of the South Korean market is its markedly pronounced protectionism, making a market entry for foreign companies considerably more complicated. For that reason, it is vitally important to develop a market strategy that is both appropriate and flexible in order to ensure lasting success in this up-and-coming country. Having successfully completed numerous projects in South Korea, EAC is highly familiar with market specifics of the country and can support its clients on a range of projects. The spectrum of subjects covered is, as in China, connected with our core competencies, and ranges from tailor-made market entry strategies to M&A activities. Furthermore, EAC has an extensive network of employees and partners in South Korea and therefore can offer flexible and direct support on the ground.


In contrast to South Korea, Japan has been a significant element of every corporate strategy covering Asia for many decades. Currently the third largest economy in the world, it still offers attractive opportunities for foreign investors. Particularly for the central European engineering and chemical industries, Japan is an attractive location to do business. As with South Korea, Japanese firms are among the world’s leading companies, particularly in technology industries such as the automotive sector and electronics. The Japanese vehicle manufacturer Toyota, for instance, is the world’s second largest carmaker and has only recently been surpassed by the German number one, Volkswagen. Although Japan’s economy is currently going through a phase of transition, there are still good reasons to have a presence in the land of the rising sun. Currently less important sectors of the Japanese economy will gain significant market opportunities and so create an environment conducive to further growth. In order to be able to recognize at an early stage where there is potential for such growth, it is vital to identify the relevant market signals and interpret them correctly. Therefore, in-depth knowledge of the market and experience in dealing with Japanese businessmen are vital core competencies that contribute to overall success. Since 1998 EAC has been supporting its clients in Japan, and, over time, has gained an in-depth understanding of the complex Japanese market structures. The project tasks have ranged from individual evaluation of Japan as a company location to assessment of the strategic importance of the country in the context of an inter-regional Asian concept. Thanks to many years of project experience in the strategic and operational fields as well as in M&A, EAC can offer solutions for Japan as a business location that are both implementable and effective.