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IT Exports Reap Substantial Profits

Posted July. 21, 2002 21:54,   


$21.16 billion worth of information technology items were shipped out of the country in the first half of this year, up 4.4% from $20.26 billion recorded a year earlier.

The Ministry of Information and Communication said on July 21 that IT exports in June rose 15.5% over the same period last year to reach $3.67 billion, with trade surplus standing at $1.32 billion. The monthly volume has been on the rise for four consecutive months since March this year.

The IT sector racked up $7.26 billion in trade surplus for the first six months, which is $2.1 billion higher than $5.14 billion recorded by non-tech items. The strong performance came as exports of mobile phones continued to pick up. Communications devices including mobile handsets accounted for 24.7% of the total IT export, followed by 15.7% of broadcasting systems and 9.8% of information devices such as PCs and monitors.

Hit by sagging demand and lackluster sales in the global market, however, exports of semiconductors and electronic parts fell 6.1% year-on-year down to $10.4 billion.

China bought out $2.2 worth of Korean tech products, an about 80% increase from $1.22 billion a year earlier, emerging as the second largest IT export market following the U.S, which grabbed $5.8 billion worth goods.

“We expect IT exports to continue to rise in the second half propelled by brisk mobile phone sales and PC upgrade demand,” said the ministry. “But given uncertainty facing the U.S. economy, won appreciation and low-priced Chinese PCs, it is too early to get optimistic,” it cautioned.

Chang-Won Kim changkim@donga.com