Exports of small and medium-sized South Korean firms hit a record high of $114.6 billion last year, government data showed Sunday, due to a robust global manufacturing sector.
The figures represent an 8 percent increase from 2017, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups. It was the second straight year that the export volume of small and medium-sized firms surpassed $100 billion.
By product, plastic goods remained the top export item for the second consecutive year with $5.5 billion worth of exports, up 6.1 percent from 2017, due to hikes in oil prices and robust manufacturing sectors in major economies.
Exports of cosmetics rose 27.7 percent on-year to $4.8 billion in 2018 amid the growing popularity of Korean beauty products in the United States, China and Russia.
Outbound shipments to China by small and medium-sized South Korean companies stood at $27.3 billion in 2018, up 17 percent from a year earlier. The firms‘ exports to the US rose 12 percent on-year to $13.3 billion.
The number of small and medium-sized exporters hit a record high of 94,589 in 2018, up 2.4 percent from a year earlier. Their combined exports accounted for 18.9 percent of the country’s total exports in 2018, up 0.4 percentage point from a year earlier.
The latest data is a reminder that family-controlled conglomerates have dominated Asia‘s fourth-largest economy for decades. (Yonhap)