SEOUL (AP) – South Korea’s exports soared to a record high in value in 2021 despite the coronavirus pandemic and global delivery bottlenecks.
Exports of Asia’s fourth-largest economy, a command economy, rose 25.8 percent year-on-year to $644.54 billion (€566.7 billion). At the same time, exports rose again after declines in the two consecutive years before that. This is evident from the figures provided by the Ministry of Commerce.
According to the information, the positive export data is mainly due to the high demand for semiconductors and petrochemical products. Auto and steel exports also increased significantly. Chip exports rose 29 percent to $128 billion. The petrochemical sector increased 54.8 percent to $55.1 billion. The country’s most important export goods also include ships, machinery, smartphones, and flat screens.
The country relies heavily on free trade agreements. Among other things, it has one with the European Union and the United States of America. It also participates in the world’s largest free trade agreement, RCEP, which China and 14 other economies in the Asia-Pacific region agreed to at the end of 2020. China is South Korea’s largest trading partner. Exports to the neighboring country rose by 22.9 percent in 2021, while deliveries to the United States rose by 29.4 percent and to the European Union by 33.9 percent.
South Korea’s imports totaled $615.1 billion last year, up 31.5 percent from 2020.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220102-99-565491 / 2
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