|Park Jin-kyu, the vice minister of trade, industry and energy, speaks during a brief held at the government complex in Sejong, Wednesday. (Yonhap)|
The South Korean government will roll out massive support programs for exporters this year, aiming to return the country’s export volume to pre-pandemic levels, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Wednesday.
Exports, the main locomotive of Asia’s fourth largest economy, are projected to have fallen below $1 trillion for the first time in four years due to economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the annual plan from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the government will provide trade finances worth 167 trillion won ($150.7 billion) to exporting companies, insurance programs to help them counter fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and an additional 10 million won of financial support to help those struggling to secure vessels to ship their products.
Aside from support for exporters, the ministry unveiled measures to support the Korean Green New Deal package, a national drive by President Moon Jae-in to reinvigorate the local economy with environmentally-friendly and forward-looking, large-scale investment initiatives.
Among the projects is the world’s largest floating solar farm to be built on a lake next to Saemangeum, a reclaimed area on the west coast. The project is expected to cost around 6.8 trillion won.
The ministry said it will take prudent measures to ensure its success in partnership with private sectors.
The ministry will also increase efforts to raise funds from local firms to join the some 45 trillion won project to construct the world’s largest offshore wind power plant in the southwestern coastal town of Sinan.
The government plans to supply advanced electricity metering infrastructure systems to around 3.7 million households, according to the ministry.
Meanwhile, the government has selected future mobility, bio-health and semiconductors as the industries that it will nurture down the road.
According to the announcement, the government aims to increase the supply of hydrogen fueled vehicles in the domestic market, while helping export volume of bio-health products surpass the $10 billion bar this year.
It will continue its support for the semiconductor sector as well, particularly in local fabless companies, which design and manufacture hardware devices and semiconductor chips.
The ministry said a new semiconductor cluster in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province will break ground in the fourth quarter this year. The 120 trillion-won semiconductor cluster will consist of four manufacturing factories and house over 50 domestic and overseas semiconductor companies.
By Shim Woo-hyun (email@example.com)