Bioindustry output jumps over 20 pct in 2021 on robust exports

SEOUL– The South Korean bioindustry’s output surged more than 20 percent in 2021 from a year earlier on the back of brisk exports amid the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Thursday.

The industry’s production came to about 21 trillion won (US$16.2 billion) last year, up 22.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization.

It marks the first time that the bioindustry’s output has exceeded the 20 trillion-won mark.

Over the past five years, the industry’s production has been growing at an annual average of 19.9 percent over the past five years.
Last year, the biopharmaceutical sector accounted for the largest percentage of the total production at 27.8 percent, but it was down from 28.6 percent from a year earlier.

The proportion of the biomedical equipment sector rose to 25.1 percent from 22.7 percent over the cited period, backed by explosive growth in the vitro diagnostics market in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The data also showed the bioindustry’s exports swelling 18 percent on-year to 11.9 trillion won last year.

In particular, overseas shipments of biomedical equipment spiked 39 percent in 2021 from a year earlier thanks to soaring overseas demand for coronavirus testing kits.

Bioindustry imports shot up 96.2 percent on-year to 4.8 trillion won as South Korea sharply increased coronavirus vaccine imports to tackle the disease.

Bolstered by the bioindustry’s brisk growth, its workforce expanded 6.4 percent on-year to 55,618 as of the end of last year, with its total investments climbing 10 percent to 3.1 trillion won.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

scroll to top