SEOUL, March 21 (Korea Bizwire) — Hite Jinro Co., a major South Korean liquor maker, said Wednesday outbound shipments of its products nearly tripled over the past 20 years, as it moves to expand its presence in the global market.
Exports of the company’s alcoholic beverages came to 94 billion won (US$87.8 million) last year, up 177 percent from 33.9 billion won tallied in 1997, it said.
By country, Japan was the largest importer of Hite Jinro’s products, accounting for 56.6 percent of the total outbound shipments last year.
Yet, the tally is down from 80.6 percent in 2012, as the liquor maker has been putting efforts to diversify its export markets.
Southeast Asian countries, which imported 3.6 percent of Hite Jinro’s total exports in 2013, comprised 17.6 percent of the total in 2017, the company said.
Hite Jinro currently exports beer and soju to 88 countries, it said.
“With Southeast Asia as an outpost, we will continue our efforts to raise awareness of soju to other foreign markets,” company executive Hwang Jeong-ho said during a ceremony in Hanoi to mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of its outbound shipments to Vietnam, its first soju export destination.