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0.1 percent of companies account for 51.3% of output: data

99.9% of domestic enterprises were SMEs, employing 82.7% of the country’s total employed population as of 2019. (Ministry of SMEs and Startups)
99.9% of domestic enterprises were SMEs, employing 82.7% of the country’s total employed population as of 2019. (Ministry of SMEs and Startups)
Big companies account for just 0.1 percent of all businesses in South Korea, but they generate 51.3 percent of total output, a report showed Thursday.

According to data from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, 99.9 percent of domestic enterprises were small and medium sized ones, employing 82.7 percent of the country’s total employed population as of 2019.

Compared to a year earlier, the number of SMEs rose 3.8 percent to 6.89 million.

The number of employees in SMEs increased by 2 percent to more than 17.44 million on-year.

Their combined sales stood at around 2,732.1 trillion won ($2.33 trillion), up 2.6 percent from 2018. They make up 48.7 percent of total sales of domestic companies.

Wholesale and retail businesses were the majority among SMEs with more than 1.66 million of them, followed by more than 1.17 million real estate businesses and 815,000 hospitality businesses.

SMEs in the manufacturing sector had the biggest number of workers with 3.39 million workers, followed by wholesale and retail business with around 3.29 million, and hospitality businesses with 1.83 million workers.

Wholesale and retail businesses made the highest sales with more than 910 trillion won, followed by manufacturing businesses with 750 trillion won, and construction with 307 trillion won.

More than half of all SMEs were clustered in the metropolitan areas of Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province.

By Hong Yoo (yoohong@heraldcorp.com)
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