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The number of newly established companies in South Korea rose to a record high last year amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but in-person service segments reported a sharp fall in new businesses due to the ongoing health crisis, data showed on Friday.
Last year, the number of newly created firms reached a record 1.06 million, up 62,000, or 6.2 per cent, from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
It marked the largest number since the statistics agency began compiling related data in 2011, reports Yonhap News Agency.
By sector, the number of new firms in the transportation and warehouse segments declined 20.2 per cent from a year earlier last year and that in the accomodation and eateries sectors shed 7.1 per cent, the data showed.
The face-to-face service sectors were hit hard by the pandemic as people refrained from visiting offline shops amid tougher antivirus measures.
But the real estate sector saw the number of new firms rise 21.2 per cent amid skyrocketing housing prices.
Of the newly created companies, the real estate business accounted for the biggest slice of 28.9 per cent of the total, followed by the wholesale and retail with 21.3 per cent. Accommodations and eateries made up 14.6 per cent.
Meanwhile, the number of companies that closed down reached 736,000 in 2019, the latest year for which data is available, up 44,000, or 6.4 per cent, from the previous year.
The total number of operational companies, which have employees or generate sales, came to a record high of 6.82 million last year, up 294,000, or 4.5 per cent, from the previous year.