The South Korean Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning have announced decreasing ICT exports for the first time in the last three years.
It has been found that Korea’s ICT exports decreased by 1.9% from a year earlier in 2015 to show a decline for the first time in three years. The Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning announced on January 25 that Korea recorded $172.89 billion in ICT exports last year, along with $91.32 billion in ICT imports (up 3.6%) and $81.56 billion in trade surplus in the sector. The trade surplus dropped for the second consecutive year after having fallen from $90.88 billion to $88.07 billion between 2013 and 2014.
Earlier in 2009, Korea’s ICT exports had decreased 7.8% from a year ago with Korean manufacturers slow in responding to the global demand for smart phones. However, they had caught up in a nimble way and the amount of export had been recovered in the following year. The amount had fallen 0.9% four years ago as well, due to the European economic crisis, but it had rebounded once the economic turmoil had subsided.
Experts’ consensus is that things were different last year though. According to them, the negative growth of the sector is likely to continue for the time being with the United States occupying innovative technologies by making use of its software capabilities and China further enhancing its competitiveness in terms of manufacturing. The exports of mobile phones, semiconductor products and display devices from Korea are already or about to be dropping.
Specifically, the mobile phone exports rose 9.8% year on year to $29.04 billion in 2015. However, such a growth rate is unlikely to be attained this year in the presence of Chinese powerhouses like Huawei and Xiaomi. The semiconductor exports edged up 0.4% to $62.92 billion with the growth rate dropping 9.2 percentage points. The exports from the display sector fell 6.8% to $32.51 billion and the digital TV exports plunged by 26.1% to $5.01 billion.
Excerpts and image courtesy of Business Korea