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Ulsan’s Exports and Imports Show Ebb and Tide

Ulsan’s exports to EU decreased and imports increased since the effectuation of the Korea-EU free trade agreement (FTA).

Exports to EU were depressed due to the European economic crisis and global economic slowdown, however Ulsan showed a stronger performance compared to China and Japan, according to the economic briefing of the Ulsan Development Institute (UDI).

The UDI also suggested that FTA implementation should be maximized so that automobile, shipbuilding and other industries can penetrate the EU market.

According to the Institute for International Trade, export growth of products with FTA privileges stood at 10.0 percent for Korea, -0.5 percent for China, -4.6 percent for Japan and -4.5 percent for Taiwan. UDI emphasized a market strategy to take advantage of opportunities such as FTA implementation and spread of Korean Wave as large-scale logistics, global sourcing, energy conservation, environment protection and M&A are promising European markets.

After two years since the Korea-EU FTA went into effect, Ulsan’s shipbuilding exports decreased largely whereas imports increased due to the European financial crisis, depressing the trade balance.

As of the end of December 2012, Ulsan’s exports to EU stood at USD 9.063 billion and imports was USD 5.054 billion, resulting in trade surplus of USD 4.09 billion. The trade balance in April 2013 showed a deficit of USD 527 million with USD 1.884 billion exports and USD 2.411 billion imports.

UDI forecasted that the recovery of the shipbuilding industry will affect the regional economy, as Ulsan has a technological advantage in terms of eco-friendly high-value added ships. It also added comprehensive efforts including supports for shipbuilding companies with close cooperation among companies and related agencies and measures to maximize effects of the Korea-EU FTA to increase automobile and automotive part exports which can enjoy greater tax exemptions.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) also held a seminar to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the Korea-EU FTA. It analyzed that the Korea-EU FTA contributed largely to Korea’s facilitation of FTAs.

MOTIE also emphasized the need for active efforts to maximize the effects of Korea-EU FTA as EU is negotiating FTA with the United States and Japan.


Source Text: Newsis (June 26, 2013)

** This article was translated from the Korean.