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Electronics Exports Exceed $100 Billion

Posted December. 26, 2005 03:12,   


For the first time ever, Korea’s electronics industry trade volume, including IT services, has exceeded $100 billion.

Korea’s $100 billion electronics trade volume comes in fourth after Japan, the U.S., and China (excluding Hong Kong and Singapore, whose electronics export figures are not primarily manufacturing-based).

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) said on December 25 that the nation’s electricity and electronics industry exports this year surpassed $100 billion as of December 23.

It is expected that the current upward trend in trade volume will continue until the end of the year, and that this year’s electronics exports will reach $102.9 billion, up 6.5 percent from the previous year. It is also predicted that Korea’s trade surplus will reach $46.7 billion.

The nation’s electronics exports surpassed $100 billion 33 years after they exceeded $100 million in 1972. This translates into an annual average growth rate of 22.2 percent. The ratio of the electronics industry as a proportion of Korea’s overall trade volume has increased from 8.7 percent in 1972 to 38.1 percent last year.

The nation’s leading export items in the 1980s were cheap, labor-intensive goods such as black-and-white TVs and radios. But the emphasis has been on capital-intensive, high-tech products since the 1990s.

In particular, major export items such as semiconductors, mobile phones, and LCDs have led overall export growth. The projected export amounts this year for the three are $30 billion, $18.5 billion, and $4.4 billion, respectively, amounting to 51 percent of Korea’s overall electronics exports.

Chang-Won Kim changkim@donga.com