S. Korea eyes record exports next year despite gloomy outlook
SEOUL, Dec. 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Tuesday it will make all-out efforts to win major overseas nuclear power plant projects and boost arms sales next year in a move to prop up declining exports and generate growth momentum.
The goal -- part of the industry ministry's 2023 policy plan that President Yoon Suk Yeol was briefed on -- came as the country's exports are forecast to fall 4.5 percent on-year next year due to a decrease in semiconductor prices and a global economic slowdown.
This year's exports are expected to reach an all-time high of US$680 billion, though the country saw an on-year fall of outbound shipments in October and November.
"Despite the forecast of a fall, the government will mobilize all capabilities available to achieve export growth by expanding sales in resource-rich nations and emerging markets. We will diversify markets with tailor-made supports," the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a release.
Nuclear power generation is one of the country's major target sectors.
The government will continue to actively push for participation in nuclear reactor construction projects in Poland and the Czech Republic, and will devise strategies to join envisioned projects in the Philippines and Britain, among other nations, according to the ministry.
The country also seeks to win sales of military items worth $17 billion or more in 2023, and decided to earmark over 1 trillion won (US$786.4 million) for research and development in the field.
The government also pledged to implement differentiated measures in accordance with each export destination.
It will support Korean firms' efforts to win infrastructure construction projects in the United States and their selling of key parts and materials by maximizing the bilateral supply chains ties and the Inflation Reduction Act.
The government vowed to support sales of consumer goods in the ASEAN market on the back of the popularity of Korean culture, while establishing comprehensive partnerships with Middle Eastern nations in terms of nuclear power, hydrogen and renewable energy sectors.
South Korea will push for signing new free trade agreements with South American nations to facilitate trade and deepen cooperation on key minerals.
The government also decided to provide 360 trillion won in trade financing, a record high amount, according to the ministry.
"More than any time in the past, it's extremely difficult for our businesses to expand overseas or increase exports, which is important to overcoming this economic crisis, unless the government and the private sector run together as one entity," Yoon said during the briefing session.
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