Rosy economic outlook for Korea in 2014Updated: 2014-01-02 PM 9:48:00 (KST)
The future looks rosy for the Korean economy in the new year.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said it expects the export total for this year to reach 5-hundred-95 billion U.S. dollars, with imports expected to reach 5-hundred-62 billion dollars.
The positive outlook for this year comes after Korea's trade surplus widened to a new high of 44.two billion dollars in 2013.
Exports continued to grow at a steady pace, reaching some 5-hundred-59 billion dollars, the highest in the country's history, while imports dwindled.
Strong outbound shipments of mobile phones, home appliances and semiconductors are expected to drive exports in the coming year, with semiconductors sitting atop the export list.
The economic recovery seen in many Western economies is likely to help Korea's exports stay on the upswing in 2014.
Korean automakers are hoping to sell more cars in the U.S. this year as the U.S. economy continues to pick up steam.
The shipbuilding industry also expects a positive year, estimating double-digit growth.
"Orders for offshore structures are on the rise. If the orders go well, it will boost exports this year."
Korea's steel industry faces a less certain 12 months.
"China's steel production capacities have grown rapidly, threatening Korean steelmakers. It has become another China risk factor."
The weak Japanese yen may act as another hurdle to Korea's outbound shipments but thanks to the international popularity of key product items, Korea's exports may break into new territory yet again this year.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.
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