Gov't says S. Korea's exports will grow despite difficulties in 2014

By 정주원
  • Published : Jan 6, 2014 - 15:04
  • Updated : Jan 6, 2014 - 15:04
South Korea's exports will continue to grow this year on a global economic recovery with outbound shipments of most key export items expected to rise, the government said Monday.

"The global economic recovery based on improvements in advanced countries, including the United States, is expected to be a positive element for the country's own economic recovery while helping to expand the country's exports and imports," the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a press release.

The ministry, however, noted improving conditions in other countries may also create new difficulties, in the form of intensified competition, for local companies.

The ministry said the country's overall exports will likely grow 6.4 percent on-year to $595.5 billion in 2014 with its imports rising at a faster rate of 9 percent to $562 billion.

By product, outbound shipments of semiconductors are expected to grow 2.6 percent on-year to $58.6 billion this year, making it the country's single largest export item for a second consecutive year. The anticipated growth, however, compares with a 13.2 percent on-year hike tallied in 2013.

The country's exports of automobiles are expected to rise 4.7 percent on-year to some $51 billion this year, surpassing a 3.2 percent gain posted in 2013, with shipments of petroleum products also expected to grow 4.1 percent to $50.4 billion, according to the ministry.

The shipbuilding and offshore plants sectors are expected to post the largest growth with their combined exports expected to surge 15.3 percent to $43 billion, marking a sharp turnaround from a 6.3 percent drop last year.

Exports of steel products, too, are expected to make a turnaround from an 11.9 percent on-year plunge in 2013, posting a 1.2 percent gain to $33 billion this year.

Shipments of display panels, on the other hand, are expected to shrink 5.3 percent this year to $32.2 billion, due mostly to intensifying competition from Chinese manufacturers.

The ministry said the expected difficulty faced by the display industry can be overcome by exploring new products and markets.

"The government will focus its support for initial research and development of new products, such as flexible or transparent display panels, whose markets are now beginning to form, to create an environment for investment and help local companies take a dominant position in the market," it said. (Yonhap News)