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Most exporters don't see improvements in 2022 trade situation: poll

Aerial view of shipping containers at South Korea's southern port city of Busan (Yonhap)
Aerial view of shipping containers at South Korea's southern port city of Busan (Yonhap)
Nearly 9 in 10 South Korean exporting companies expect the global trade situation in 2022 not to improve compared with the previous year due mainly to the coronavirus pandemic, a poll showed Thursday.

The survey of 300 exporting firms showed 55 percent of the respondents anticipating this year's world trade conditions to be similar to those in 2021.

About 37 percent said the global trade climate would take a turn for the worse this year, with only 14.3 percent forecasting an improvement.

The survey was taken by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the country's largest business lobby, from Dec. 17-22.

About half of those companies cited the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic as the main reason for their pessimistic view. It was followed by global supply chain disruptions (19.7 percent) and rising prices of raw materials (10.4 percent).

To cope with the situation, those exporting companies said they will seek to find alternative supply chains and supplement existing ones (40.6 percent), tap into new markets (31.3 percent) and secure advanced technologies (14.7 percent).

The findings showed that those firms hoped the government would make efforts to respond properly to global supply chain disruptions and promote economic security, and bolster free trade deals.

Some 75 percent of the respondents said there is a need for South Korea to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a trade deal involving 11 nations to which Seoul has recently vowed to seek admission.

The CPTPP is the renegotiated version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) led by the former US President Barack Obama administration and signed by 11 countries, including Japan, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Mexico.

In 2017, then US President Donald Trump pulled out of the TPP, widely deemed a key counterweight to China's growing economic clout. (Yonhap)
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