SEOUL-- The number of new corporations set up in the first half of this year reached nearly 50,000, setting a new record amid steady overseas demands for local products, the government said Monday.

The number of new corporations set up came to 49,424 in the January-June period, up 2.4 percent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.

Among the total, 10,107 companies were in the manufacturing industry, followed by 10,057 firms in the wholesale and retail sector, the ministry said. A total of 5,337 companies were from the construction industry, while another 4,925 firms were related to real estate service.

The number in the manufacturing industry increased 12.7 percent on-year, the highest jump since 2013, the ministry said.

The rise was largely attributed to the country's continued exports growth, the ministry said.

Outbound shipments by Asia's fourth-largest economy have been rising since November last year on an upturn in world trade. The recent gains are in sharp contrast to the 8 percent drop in 2015 and 6 percent fall in 2016.

During the first six months of 2017, South Korea's exports grew by double digits every single month as booming demand for computer chips and machinery pushed up overall trade numbers.

Source: Yonhap News Agency