S. Korea eyes to foster new growth engines amid exports slump

SEJONG– South Korea’s finance minister said Tuesday the country needs to foster new growth engines to seek a turnaround in monthly exports, although a rebound may take some time amid global economic jitters.

“Due to the deteriorating external conditions, including the downward trend in the global economy and China’s lockdown, global trade has slowed, also affecting South Korea’s exports,” Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said during a meeting with economy-related ministers in Seoul.

“Chip prices have especially sharply lost ground, weighing on our exports, which depend highly on the information technology sector,” Choo said, adding a rebound is not likely to happen for the time being.

Outbound shipments stood at US$52.48 billion last month, down 5.7 percent from $55.7 billion a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Asia’s No. 4 economy also suffered a trade deficit for the seventh consecutive month as imports grew on high global energy prices, sparking concerns over its growth momentum.

Amid the challenges, Choo said South Korea needs to fundamentally revamp its export structure, including diversifying its portfolio and destinations, in order to seek a rebound when the global economy improves.

In line with such efforts, South Korea plans to set new strategies to foster its rechargeable battery industry and seek new business opportunities in overseas construction projects, the minister said.

South Korea will also spare no effort to support exports of small and medium-sized firms and startups, while seeking new growth engines, such as biotechnology and space industries, Choo added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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