World Economy

South Korea Posts 6th Fastest Export Growth Among G20

South Korea Posts 6th Fastest Export Growth Among G20South Korea Posts 6th Fastest Export Growth Among G20

South Korea’s export growth rate ranked No. 6 among Group of 20 nations last year, while its imports rose at the fourth-fastest clip, a report showed Sunday.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Asia’s fourth-largest economy shipped out $574 billion worth of goods, a gain of 16% on-year. This is some six percentage points higher than the 10% growth average reached by other systemically important industrialized and developing economies, Yonhap reported.

The Paris-based organization said while South Korea’s exports surged ahead, its imports rose even faster, jumping 18.3% on-year to $479.6 billion. This is 6.8 percentage points higher than 11.5% for other G20 members.

The effect of net exports to growth contribution, which is calculated by subtracting imports from outbound shipments, stood at minus 1.7%, the sharpest decrease since the negative 2.1% checked in 1999.

The OECD said that in addition to South Korea, a total of nine countries reported higher import growth numbers vis-a-vis exports last year. Those are China, Argentina, India, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Japan and France.

In contrast, there were nine G20 member states whose export growth outpaced imports, including the United States, Britain, Canada and Mexico.

Among G20 nations, Russia ranked at the top in terms of both export and import growth in 2017, while both export and import numbers for Saudi Arabia contracted on an annual basis.

Moon Byung-ki, a researcher at Institute for International Trade, said South Korea’s economy is set up in a way that imports usually rise if exports increase.

“The country has to import the energy resources, materials and components that are needed to make products for exports,” he said. The economist said that in the future, the country needs to concentrate more on making value-added goods while importing less intermediate goods, which are more expensive, if it wants to improve its net export numbers.

Meanwhile, the state-run Korea Development Bank said Sunday it will thoroughly look into the cost structure of GM Korea Co. this week as it mulls whether to provide fresh loans to the loss-making South Korean unit of General Motors Co.

In a meeting with GM Executive Vice President Barry Engle in Seoul on Friday, KDB Chairman and Chief Executive Lee Dong-gull agreed that the state bank will begin due diligence on GM Korea in a “fair and transparent” manner this week though the Detroit carmaker has yet to submit “very sensitive” data to the Korean lender, a KDB official said over the phone.



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