Trade Minister Expresses Concerns Over Slowing Export Growth In Sept.

Trade minister expresses concerns over slowing export growth in Sept.

South Korea's trade minister on Wednesday expressed concerns over the likelihood of negative export growth in September due to a high base effect and fewer working days compared with a year ago, vowing to expand support for local companies.

SEOUL, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 12th Sep, 2018 ) :South Korea's trade minister on Wednesday expressed concerns over the likelihood of negative export growth in September due to a high base effect and fewer working days compared with a year ago, vowing to expand support for local companies.

Kim Hyun-chong was largely positive about this year's export tally for Asia's fourth-largest economy.

However, he said he expected sluggish on-year growth this month as there are four fewer working days due to the Chuseok holiday and record-high shipments were posted in September 2017 on a rise in vessel delivery.

"The cumulative amount of exports in the first eight months of this year posted an all-time high, and if this trend continues, it may be possible for Seoul to post $600 billion in exports for the first time this year," Kim said in a meeting with representatives trade promotion agencies and major industry associations.

"However, I have many concerns about the September figures compared with a year ago due to a high base effect and fewer working days." Kim pledged greater support for local exporters to prepare for rising volatility in the financial market in the wake of the interest hike in the United States, tumult in emerging market currencies and protracted trade friction between Washington and Beijing.

"We need extraordinary measures to tackle these structural challenges at home and abroad," Kim said.

The country's top trade official said the government will expand the loan guarantee and insurance for small exporters and start-ups to help tide them over through short-term challenges.

In the long-term, Kim vowed to step up overseas marketing efforts and come up with various financial packages for "strategic emerging markets," including India, Indonesia, Russia and Brazil, to seek new growth drivers.

Later in the day, Kim presided over a trade committee meeting to discuss the procedures for the revised free trade agreement with the U.S. and other trade issues.

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump said a revised trade deal between the two nations may be signed later this month on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

In South Korea, the trade deal needs parliamentary approval before taking effect.

The latest procedure comes nearly six months after the two sides agreed "in principle" to update the 6-year-old deal at the request of Washington, which mainly focused on reducing its trade deficits in the auto sector.

The ministry said it will also wrap up domestic procedures to launch negotiations for the FTA in the service and investment sectors with Russia, after leaders of the two nations reached an agreement in June to lower trade barriers.

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