SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Korea Bizwire) – On October 22, a report published by the Institute for International Trade (IIT) operating under the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) revealed that South Korea is lagging behind other countries with regards to exports of next-generation technologies.
The report examined the TSI (trade specialization index) — a figure derived by subtracting imports from exports (of a particular good traded) and comparing it to the sum of exports and imports — of the following seven categories: intelligent robots, aviation/space, electric cars, cutting-edge medical devices, lithium secondary batteries, system semiconductors and next generation displays.
The closer to 1 the TSI is, the higher the value of exports compared to imports, and the reverse is true the closer to -1 the TSI gets. The IIT also looked at the global export market percentages, setting 6 percent capitalization as the floor to be considered a top-five exporter.
Under these conditions, the IIT found that lithium secondary batteries (TSI 0.71, Cap. 12.6 percent) and next generation displays (TSI 0.71, Cap. 19.5 percent) were the only standout categories.
The categories of aviation/space (TSI -0.36, Cap. 0.5 percent), cutting-edge medical devices (TSI -0.03, Cap. 1.5 percent) and system semiconductors (TSI -0.05, Cap. 5.0 percent) were discovered to be in need of support to boost competitiveness.
What is troubling for the South Korean economy is that in the past four years, only the category of electric cars saw an increased global export market capitalization (0.03 to 4.4 percent). In the same period, the only two “positive” categories, lithium secondary batteries and next generation displays, saw their capitalization decline by 5.4 and 5.3 percent, respectively.
Additionally, the IIT’s report found that South Korea’s ICT capitalization at 5.9 percent was ranked sixth globally, but raised concerns over the country’s excessive reliance on memory semiconductors.