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Korea to Grow 3.5 Percent in 2013: UNESCAP
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The South Korean economy is expected to expand in the mid-3 percent range this year, largely due to a rebound in exports, a U.N.-affiliated organization said Tuesday.

South Korea is estimated to grow 3.5 percent in 2013, compared with a 2.5 percent gain projected for 2012, according to a report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

The forecast is higher than the growth estimate of 3 percent on the home front by the finance ministry and state-run think tanks. The Bank of Korea expects 3.2 percent growth for 2013.

The UNESCAP estimate is slightly lower than the outlook by the International Monetary Fund, which predicted a 3.6 percent expansion for Asia's fourth-largest economy.

UNESCAP said export-oriented countries, including Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore, have room for a rebound this year, although the growth in exports will be limited due to the sluggish global environment.

The 3.5 percent estimate by UNESCAP, though optimistic, falls short of the country's growth potential considered to be in the late 3-percent range, the report noted.

Of the 13 emerging countries studied, Korea came last in the growth forecast. China topped others with 8.2 percent, followed by India at 6.8 percent and Indonesia at 6.4 percent, according to the report.

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Source: Yonhap News (Jan. 1, 2012)

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