China is catching up to South Korea in export competitiveness of key items, including IT, with South Korea beginning to lose ground in Europe, a local economic think tank said Sunday.
A report from the Hyundai Research Institute put South Korea's trade specification index on eight key export items at 0.09 last year, up from 0.07 in 2012. The index measures the degree to which a country imports or exports a certain product. A number in the positive means the country is an exporter, and a negative number means the country is an importer. Zero is the median.
The report measured trade in petrochemicals, steel, steel-related products, machinery, IT, autos, shipbuilding and precision machineries.
South Korea has outperformed Japan since 2011, according to the HRI. Japan's index fell from 0.05 in 2012 to 0.01 last year.
China, on the other hand, has been steadily gaining export competitiveness, the report said, measuring minus 0.11 in 2000 but switching into the positive terrain in 2006 and rising to 0.04 last year.
South Korea is still ahead of China in IT and shipbuilding, but the Asian rival is very close or has surpassed South Korea in steel, steel products and machineries, the report said.
The same report also noted South Korea's falling competitiveness in Europe.
The index in trade with China improved from 0.24 in 2006 to 0.33 last year, and that for the United States also rose from 0.29 to 0.41 in the same time frame. But for Europe, the index plummeted from 0.4 to 0.02, the report showed. (Yonhap)