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On Korea, Europeans think ‘Samsung’ first

On Korea, Europeans think ‘Samsung’ first

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Published : 2013-12-25 13:09
Updated : 2013-12-25 18:16

Samsung, Korea’s largest conglomerate, is the first thing that comes to mind for many Europeans when they think of South Korea, according to the state-run Korea Investment Promotion Agency on Wednesday.

In a KOTRA survey of some 480 Europeans in seven countries, including Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, Samsung topped the list as the most recognized item associated with Asia’s fourth largest economy.

KOTRA surveyed 249 ordinary European citizens and 232 professionals, including journalists, executives and professors.

About 20 percent of the citizens and 13 percent of the professionals surveyed picked Samsung in connection with South Korea’s national image, KOTRA noted.

Samsung Group’s flagship Samsung Electronics will aim for 20 percent growth in smartphone sales globally next year, the most conservative figure set since it started the business, as it seeks to focus on the growing tablet market, according to industry sources.

The Korean tech giant’s information technology and mobile communications division reportedly set next year’s sales target of smartphones at 360 million units, a 20 percent increase from this year. Its tablet PC sales are expected to jump to 100 million from this year’s estimated 40 million units.

Issues concerning North Korea, including its nuclear weapons development and the Korean War, followed Samsung as the item second-most commonly associated with the South for the two groups of respondents.

European citizens’ next choices of things that best represent Korea’s image were Psy’s “Gangnam Style” and his horse dance, the capital of Seoul and Korea’s technological competitiveness.

Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, and Korean food such as the mixed rice cuisine bibimbap followed in the survey of non-professional respondents.

European professionals, meanwhile, picked Seoul, Hyundai-Kia and Korea’s technology as the next best items expressing Korea’s national identity.

By Park Hyong-ki

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