Korea‘s exports to ASEAN mostly intermediate goods: Report

2024.02.28 10:46:01 | 2024.02.28 10:57:35

[Photo by Lee Chung-woo]이미지 확대

[Photo by Lee Chung-woo]

South Korea’s exports to the ASEAN region are mainly intermediate goods, a report said on Tuesday, raising concerns that if the country fails to diversify its export products, its trade with ASEAN could stagnate like its trade with China.

According to a report released by the Bank of Korea (BOK) on Tuesday, the country’s exports to five ASEAN countries - Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand - have significantly increased since 2010, and its trade surplus with these countries totaled $23.6 billion in 2023, the second-highest after the $44.5 billion surplus with the United States.

The increase in exports to the ASEAN region is attributed to the increased export of intermediate goods used in the production process of goods such as primary steel and basic chemicals.

According to the BOK report, intermediate goods, including semiconductors, petroleum, and chemical products, accounted for 89 percent of total exports to the five major ASEAN countries in 2023. On the other hand, final goods such as food and clothing only accounted for 5 percent during the same period.

This is similar to the structure of exports to China, where Korean intermediate goods accounted for 83.7 percent of total exports, while final goods accounted for only 14.6 percent, in 2023.

By Kim Jung-hwan and Yoon Yeon-hae

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