South Korea`s annual exports surpassed US$600 billion for the first time.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and the Korea Customs Service announced on Dec. 28 that the annual accumulated exports exceeded US$600 billion (671.34 trillion won).
It is the first time in 70 years since Korea began exporting in 1948. Korea attained $500 billion in 2011.
So far, the United States, Germany, China, Japan, the Netherlands and France have surpassed $600 billion, making Korea the seventh country in the world.
Korea's exports accounted for 3.4 percent of the world's exports. Its global ranking remains sixth.
Korea's exports grew at an annual rate of 16.1 percent from 1948 to 2017. It has grown by 30,194 times over the past 69 years.
Korea’s exports grew at a rate of 7.2 percent until 2017 after it recorded $100 billion, the highest except for China (13.6 percent).
The time it took from $100 billion to $600 billion was 23 years, the fourth fastest in the world.
MOTIE said that the semiconductor, general machinery and petrochemical industries led export growth this year. Exports of new industries and promising consumer goods also increased greatly, lowering the portion of 13 major products in the nation’s total exports from 82.1 percent in 2011 to 77.7 percent this year.
The diversification of the export market to ASEAN, India, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is another reason for this year's robust exports.
"Although export conditions for next year are not stable due to slowing economic growth in major countries and prolonged trade conflict between the United States and China, we will do our best to achieve $600 billion in exports for the second year in a row," MOTIE said.