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S. Korea fifth largest supplier of high-tech goods to U.S.: report

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Published : 2014-04-27 11:38
Updated : 2014-04-27 11:38

South Korea was the fifth-largest supplier of high-tech goods to the United States in 2013, up two notches from the year before, a report by an international trade organization said Sunday.

According to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), locally manufactured goods made the top 10 list in seven of the 10 high-tech fields.

The fields examined were broken down by the harmonized system (HS) code used to track products traded between countries and covered information technology (IT), electronic parts, flexible manufacturing, new industrial materials, optical equipment, nuclear technology, aerospace, weapons, life sciences and biological engineering.

KITA said that since 2005, the country has consistently ranked between fourth and seventh in terms of high-tech products shipped to the world's largest economy. In 2005, the country ranked sixth, but its standing fell to seventh in the following year before rising to fourth in 2009. It again slipped to sixth in 2011 and dipped another notch in the following year before making a comeback.

The overall market share of South Korean high-tech goods in the U.S. fell to 4 percent in 2013 from 5.4 percent in 2005.

In comparison, Japan has ranked second to third from 2005 onwards with its ranking standing at third last year.

In 2013, South Korean IT and electronic parts ranked third, thanks to strong demand for mobile phones and liquid-crystal display, with flexible manufacturing, which includes industrial robots and lasers, coming in at fourth.

KITA said among the categories checked, flexible manufacturing rose the sharpest compared to 2005. Last year South Korean flexible manufactured goods accounted for 6.1 percent of total U.S. imports in this sector, up from 2.9 percent tallied eight years earlier.

Besides these fields, new materials and optics ranked sixth, with nuclear technology and aerospace coming in at seventh and 10th, respectively.

South Korean-made weapons came in at 11th, and life science and biological engineering ranked 12th and 13th, each.

U.S. market shares by South Korean aerospace, life science and biological engineering products stood below 2 percent.

"Despite gains made, certain high-tech products have made little headway as it is hard to acquire related technology, and considerable time is needed to accumulate the necessary know-how to compete effectively in the advanced market," KITA said. (Yonhap)

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