S. Korea sets up emergency task force on exports over Israel-Hamas war

South Korea set up a task force Thursday in charge of supporting exporters to minimize potential impacts of the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas on the export companies and the economy, the industry ministry said.

The task force involves senior officials from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency, and relevant institutions, and is tasked with figuring out and sharing the situation in the Middle East with exporters on a real-time basis and helping address their difficulties.

The government vowed to increase the limit of credit guarantees for exporters and to shorten the period of insurance payment, according to the ministry.

The ongoing clash has limited impacts on South Korean exports so far, though some logistics disruptions have been reported in the Israeli territory.

Korean Air Co. has canceled its flights from Incheon to Tel Aviv amid safety concerns, but it has not caused major impacts on cargo shipments, the ministry added.

"A potential wider conflict in the region could negatively affect our exports, so the government will be fully prepared for preemptive measures," Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun said.

South Korea depends largely on exports to fuel economic growth, and the country's exports to the Middle East accounted for about 3 percent of its total.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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