Despite the current jitters in the won's value against the dollar, exports will likely rise 13 percent from last year to $183.5 billion this year, according to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) on Monday (Oct. 27).
In an export forecast report, the state-funded trade and investment promoting agency found the nation’s overall robust export growth is attributed to a sharp rise in the shipments of its major export items _ semiconductors, wireless telecommunication devices, ships and automobiles.
These technology-intensive export goods, which are not vulnerable to exchange rate fluctuations, will likely see growths of more than 20 percent in exports, KOTRA said.
On the other hand, labor-intensive industries, including textile, fiber and plastic sectors are expected to experience a sharp drop in export performance as China’s growing competitiveness has dealt a blow to those industries.
By region, exports to the Americas will likely have weak showings because of the won’s rise against the greenback, while shipments to China, Europe and Japan will continue their steady growth down the road, the report showed.
In particular, exports to China rose 47 percent to $23.1 billion as of the end of September compared with a year ago because of expanded facility investment and growing consumer demand in the country.
Meanwhile, KOTRA warned that South Korea would have many difficulties in overseas shipments if the won’s value against the dollar rises to below 1,150 won for the remaining months of the year as some export items will lose competitiveness in the global market.
It is necessary to stabilize the exchange rate to prop up exports and prevent the hollowing out of the local economy from possible industrial restructuring, the KOTRA report said.