South Korea on Tuesday announced measures to boost its food exports by developing new products suited for different markets as part of a greater effort to boost overall outgoing trade.
Under the measures announced at a meeting of trade and investment promotion committee in Seoul, the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a joint report that they will initially focus on increasing exports of processed foodstuffs.
"The government seeks to first turn processed foodstuffs, which are relatively free from other countries' customs regulations, into South Korea's advance guard for exports," the ministries said.
In the first seven months of the year, South Korea's shipments of agriculture and fishery products rose 5.5 percent on-year to US$4.74 billion.
However, exports of processed foodstuffs surged 9.8 percent on-year to $3.28 billion, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the total food exports over the cited period, they said.
"To this end, the government will encourage the development of localized products that will meet the specific needs of specific markets," they said.
The ministries said they will help increase the size of local processing facilities while encouraging their modernization and mechanization in a way that will improve their competitiveness.
"As a condition, the government will work to expand their use of locally produced agricultural and fishery goods as raw materials for their processed products to make sure that a growth in exports will lead to a rise in income for the country's fishing and farming households," they said.
The ministries said they will create new agricultural and food districts for exporters and introduce state designation of food exporting companies. (Yonhap)