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S. Korea aims to boost exports to China

Economy 15:30 May 16, 2023

SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will strengthen cooperation with China and extend marketing and financial support for domestic companies to prop up exports to the neighboring country, the industry ministry said Tuesday.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy came up with a set of measures meant to boost trade with the country's No. 1 trading partner, as South Korea has experienced a fall in exports to China in recent months amid a global economic slowdown.

Under the plan, the Seoul government will actively seek to communicate with the central Chinese government, as well as smaller municipal bodies, to create more business opportunities.

More trade financing and various incentives will be available for South Korean exporters seeking to trade with China.

The government will set up additional support centers and designate trade officials to be in charge of helping corporate activities in China.

It also plans to give extra help for reshoring companies from China with their facility relocation and business restructuring, the ministry said.

Three key areas, in which South Korea is aiming to expand exports with China, are new industries, such as secondary batteries, as well as consumer goods and the fields related to the digital and green transition, it added.

In April, South Korea's exports to China fell 26.5 percent on-year to US$9.52 billion, extending their losing streak to the 11th consecutive month.

It has also suffered losses in trade with China since October last year, and the figure for April came to $2.27 billion, according to government data.

Containers are stacked at a port in Busan, 320 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on May 10, 2023. (Yonhap)

Containers are stacked at a port in Busan, 320 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on May 10, 2023. (Yonhap)

In an effort to promote the overall exports, the government on Tuesday came up with a list of 30 "promising" export items, including electric vehicles, high-value memory chips, games and cosmetics, to provide companies in the sectors with tailored support.

It also vowed to strengthen trade financing and push for various projects to help domestic companies actively make inroads into the global solar, wind power and other renewable energies market. The country set a goal of exporting 5 trillion won (US$3.74 billion) in exports by 2030.

"We are still facing difficult export conditions amid an economic slowdown. The government will strive further to prop up exports," Industry Minister Lee Chang-yang said during a meeting with officials from ministries concerned.

Exports fell for the seventh consecutive month in April, with outbound shipments dropping 14.2 percent on-year to $49.6 billion, as exports of semiconductors, the country's key export item, sank 41 percent on-year on falling demand and a drop in chip prices, the ministry said.


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