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(A) Study on the Practicality of General Trading Company
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This treatise examines general trading companies adopted by numerous developing countries as a way of participating in the global market for their exports and product values in the rapidly changing world economy. General trading companies were spontaneously generated in Japan and grew Japan economy as one of the strongest countries. As a result, in addition to Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Brazil, Finland, etc have adopted and been operating general trading companies. Therefore, I have studied the practicality of general trading company. The treatise comprises concept and characteristic of general trading company and provides a theoretical foundation, introduction background and establishment characteristic. It also explains business activities and problems and examines the practicality of general trading company by drawing up a plan to improve in the future. The essential part of the treatise could be summarized as follows. The definition of general trading companies may vary, but based on appointment conditions for general trading company by the ministry of commerce in Korea, general trading company should handle various products and its transaction amount should be significantly high. Also, it should be large size companies specialized in trading while operating many overseas branches and general trading company should be appointed by the government. General trading companies in Korea were not spontaneously generated like in Japan, but artificially established by Korean government in parallel with export stimulation policy after 1960s. Therefore, general trading companies could be established by government appointment and government support followed. And, of course, certain conditions were required to be appointed as general trading company. Looking into the business status of domestic general trading company, the sales volume of 7 general trading companies in 1976 was 462,800 Mil. Won and it dramatically grew to 733,080 Mil. Won in 1995. Since they focused on light industry excessively at the early stage, their profit ratio against export amount was relatively poor. But, it gradually improved as exports of heavy industry and high-tech industry got growing. In terms of profit deterioration, the problem was, like explained earlier, the profit ratio was not so good as the sales volume was growing up consistently. The concentration on processing trading like textile, clothing, etc and light industry created poor profit ratio. When it comes to the quality of labor, a solid foundation could not be produced to educate specialized labors because it was led by the government. General trading companies could not acquire plenty of skillful employees because they did not have enough time and plan and could not make a system to face this issue as the government drove its export policy in a hurry. The solution is that companies should understand current status and outside environment and then, they should strengthen overseas marketing, set up a macro-plan and work hard to educate specialized employees. And, the institutional problem should be revised and profitability has to be improved. The appointment conditions of the government for general trading companies must be reinforced. Once a company loses its title of general trading company, the company should not be entitled again for several years and get a limited support from the government. By doing this, the company could improve its healthiness and regain its competitiveness. And then, the company will focus on high-tech products that generate high profit against sales volume, giving up its old custom to focus on sales expansion only. As analyzed previously, if several problems and institutional reforms should be resolved, general trading company will be a precious resource to enhance the domestic economy. Consequently, domestic general trading company has tremendously contributed to grow the domestic economy from underdeveloped to over developing country and the competitiveness of each company. Because of this reason, the practicality of general trading company can not be emphasized too much.