South Korea plans to come up with a set of measures this month to strengthen the competitiveness in exports amid the global economic downturn, the industry ministry said Wednesday.
The envisioned plan comes as the country has seen a slowdown in the growth of exports, which account for half of the economy, and its trade deficit has widened in recent months due to high energy prices.
In July, exports rose 9.4 percent on-year, marking the 21st consecutive month of growth. But they began to mark single-digit growth in June, ending a 15-month-long double-digit increase, according to government data.
The country posted a trade deficit for the fourth consecutive month due mainly to high energy costs. August is also expected to see a shortfall, as it logged a trade deficit of $10.2 billion during the first 20 days of this month.
"We've even seen a slowdown in exports of semiconductors, a key export item, recently. The government takes the situation seriously," Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun said during a meeting with export-related government agencies and associations of major industry sectors.
"We will announce comprehensive measures at the end of this month to boost export competitiveness, which will include ways to ensure energy supplies and to support industries," he added.
The government seeks to help companies with overseas marketing, logistics and trade financing. In a longer term, it plans to nurture promising sectors and help advance key industry sectors, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. (Yonhap)