Business: Half Hope, Half Worry
Mar 20, 2003
By Lee HyunSang
Korean businesses are concerned about their profits and financial
losses as American troops start to march towards Baghdad.
On one hand, business owners expect to recover from a long recession
if the war concludes promptly, but on the other hand, they are also
worrying about a worse scenario if the war takes longer than expected.
The overall opinion is that we have to wait and see.
Lee, GunWoo, the president of the Korean-American Grocers Association
of New York, said, We have been suffering from a continuing
decrease in sales profits due to the recession and it has not been
very different since the war. I have to observe the course of war
for the further prospects.
It is said that there is not much difference in the numbers of
customers in the beauty-supply business between now and before the
war. Yu mentioned, The number of visitors is steady among
middle and lower classes which constitute the majority. However,
customers from the upper class decreased a little, possibly due
to their susceptibility to political changes. However, he
also expected that everyone will suffer if the war drags longer.
Jewelry businesses are benefiting from the lower price of gold.
Paik said, The price of gold dropped to $330 per once from
$380 several weeks ago. He also mentioned that customers are
optimistic about the war will conclude the uncertainty of conflict
with Iraq and will result in a prompt resolution.
In the case of wholesale businesses on Broadway, Manhattan, the
number of customers has sharply decreased as inspections of vehicles
entering Manhattan became stricter.
Lim, PilJae, the president of the New York Society of Korean Businesses,
said, as long as the war goes on, it is hard to expect many
customers and moreover, it will cost more time and expenses to import
products from overseas. However, he also expects that quick
resolution of the war in Iraq will help the U.S. economy to recover.
Korean business owners agree that the pace of war will determine
their future economypromising a solution for recession or
leading to a worse depression.
Translated From Korean by JooYeon Lee
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