Even as leading South Korean firms outperform many of their Japanese rivals in the global market, the nation’s economy faces mounting challenges, including slowing growth, an aging population and widening rich-poor gap — problems that the country shares with Japan, researchers from South Korean think tanks said at a recent symposium in Tokyo.

South Korea’s industrial giants themselves need to find new business models to survive emerging competition from companies in China and Taiwan, which are catching up much faster than the pace of the Korean firms when they caught up with Western and Japanese rivals, they said.

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