SEJONG, Aug. 13 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea said Thursday it will revamp the country’s export portfolio and foster its service industry as a new growth engine to revitalize its virus-hit outbound shipments.
The country’s service exports reached US$43.8 billion over the January-June period, down 17.9 percent from a year earlier.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, however, said soaring demand for contactless services around the globe has provided a new opportunity for local firms.
In July, South Korea’s exports extended their slump to a fifth consecutive month by falling 7 percent on-year amid the fallout of the new coronavirus.
Under the vision, the country aims to become the world’s No. 10 exporter of services in 2025, up six notches from last year, by fostering related firms while lifting unnecessary business regulations.
“South Korea has been maintaining its product-oriented export structure despite making various efforts to penetrate deeper into the service segment. The latest measure is aimed at reflecting changes in global demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo said.
South Korea will especially set its eyes on six key areas with high growth potential, namely cultural content, health care, education technology, digital service, fintech and engineering.
In detail, South Korea will supply 4.6 trillion won (US$3.88 billion) through 2023 to foster services that can be exported, and another 1 trillion won through 2024 for businesses developing cultural content that can be sold overseas.
South Korea aims to become a global leader in the so-called contactless industries involving health care, education and logistics services and to study deeper into big data and artificial intelligence technologies to speed up the development of such areas.
The country will also expand the free trade agreement (FTA) network to pave the way for local exporters to set their eyes on emerging markets from Southeast and Central Asia, it added.
South Korea is currently holding talks on bolstering cooperation in the service and investment sectors with China and Russia.