South Korea aims to double the country’s annual export of dried laver seaweed products to about $ 1 billion by 2024 as the side dish menu is gaining popularity among foreigners.
Dried laver seaweed, called ‘gim’ in Korean, is often roasted with sesame oil and seasoned with salt and is served as a side dish menu that goes with Korean meals. It has recently earned fame as a healthy, low-calorie snack among foreign visitors to Korea, gaining popularity abroad.
According to the report submitted to the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries sets a goal to nurture the country’s gim products as a next hit export item and ship $1 billion worth of gim products to overseas markets annually by 2024.
The ministry estimated that once outbound shipments of gim products reach $1 billion, the country would see economic ripple effects of about 1 trillion won ($884 million) and fishing households would be able to earn annual income of between 300 million won and 400 million won per household.
Korea’s annual gim production is estimated at around 13 billion sheets, making up nearly half of the world’s total dried laver supply, according to the fisheries ministry. A sheet of gim is sized about a letter-sized paper.
The country’s gim export reached $60 million in 2007 and rose sharply to $350 million last year to top both ramen (instant noodle) and ginseng exports, which recorded $290 million and 130 million, respectively.
Gim was the second-most exported food product following tobacco in the first six months of this year. Gim’s outbound shipping is expected to exceed $500 million this year for the first time since the country began shipping out dried seaweed products.
By Boo Jang-won
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]