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S. Korea's 2011 Export Target of US$1 tln Achievable: Minister
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South Korean Minister of Knowledge Economy Choi Joong-Kyung said Thursday the government's export target of US$1 trillion for this year is achievable, despite impacts from unrest in the Middle East and the March quake and tsunami in Japan.


   "It seems that a target of $1 trillion for exports this year will be achieved, in spite of unfavorable conditions from the massive quake in Japan and the Middle East unrest," Choi told officials, according to his spokesman Jeong Man-ki.

Earlier in the day, the ministry said exports by South Korea's semiconductor, shipbuilding and other key industries are expected to remain brisk in the second quarter thanks to strong global demand.


   The ministry predicted outbound shipments of the country's 10 key products will likely reach US$98.73 billion in the April-June period, up from $97.94 billion three months earlier. The forecast is based on a survey of 311 companies.


   Exports of eight of the top 10 products are expected to expand, with steel products and mobile phones predicted to rise 25.6 percent and 20.3 percent, respectively.


   Overseas shipments of display panels and ships are expected to fall 6.3 percent and 8 percent from a year earlier, respectively, due to market saturation.


   "Gains will be fueled by the steady pace of global economic recovery and growth of demand for locally made goods," the ministry said.


   Nearly 40 percent of the companies polled said they are confident about exports because they already have steady overseas outlets for their products, with 19.9 percent expecting an increase in their product prices, it said.


   The ministry also said 65.5 percent of the respondents think they would have to revise their export targets if the Korean currency rises above 1,100 won to the U.S. dollar for the rest of the year.


   A stronger won makes local products more expensive in overseas markets, eroding South Korean exports and exporters' profitability.


Source: Yonhap News (April 14, 2011)

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