The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Customs Service announced on Dec. 16 that South Korea’s cumulative trade value so far this year has topped US$1 trillion. Korea has achieved the US$1 trillion milestone for the third consecutive year.
“The value exceeded US$1 trillion despite adverse external conditions such as U.S.-China trade disputes, Japan’s export curbs, Brexit and the protests in Hong Kong and unfavorable conditions in the domestic semiconductor, petrochemical and petroleum product industries,” the ministry said, adding, “Although South Korea’s cumulative trade value was less than US$1 trillion in 2015 and 2016, when it experienced a decline in exports that continued for 19 months, the value jumped this year in spite of a back-to-back decline that continued for 12 months.”
Only 10 countries, including China, the United States, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, France, Britain, Hong Kong and Italy, have posted a cumulative trade value of US$1 trillion so far. They have achieved the value for three years in a row with the only exception of Italy.
This year, South Korea’s international trade value is expected to rank ninth for the seventh consecutive year. At present, China, Germany and South Korea are the only countries that have achieved a cumulative trade value of US$1 trillion for three years in a row and are showing a manufacturing-based trade surplus. The ministry also said that South Korea is the fourth behind China, Hong Kong and the United States in terms of the pace of trade value growth for the past 10 years.