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Growth Koreas Bike Industry Linked with Nations Eco-Policy

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The growth of South Korea’s bicycle industry highlights the country’s commitment to eco-friendly economic expansion, said a senior government official last week. Economy Minister Lee Youn-ho

Growth Koreas Bike Industry Linked with Nations Eco-Policy

SEOUL, South Korea – The growth of South Korea’s bicycle industry highlights the country’s commitment to eco-friendly economic expansion, said a senior government official last week.

Economy Minister Lee Youn-ho made the remark at a ground-breaking ceremony for a new plant to be built by bicycle producer Samchully Co. in Uiwang, south of Seoul.

The new plant, located on a site measuring 8,000 square meters, will have an annual production capacity of 100,000 high-end bike models with operations set to begin in early 2010.

"Bicycles are helping South Koreans to become more conscious about ecology and could lead to sustained industrial and economic growth," Lee said.

He added that as part of the government’s ‘green growth’ policy initiative, the government will provide extensive support for the industry in the form of social infrastructure.

The South Korea administration said it will lay down over 3,000 km of dedicated bicycle lanes across the country by 2018, with 170 km to be built this year. Such efforts are expected to encourage people to use bikes for both leisure and transportation purposes.

South Korean companies provided the bulk of bicycles to meet local demand until the 1990s, posting a trade surplus in this sector before losing ground to cheap imports from countries including China and Taiwan.

At present, the country’s seven bicycle companies, including Samchully, InFiza, Alton and Mando Corp., produce around 200,000 units per year out of a total market of 2.40 million units. The South Korean sector posted a trade deficit of over US$ 100 million in 2007.

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