South Korea‘s imports rose 37.9% in May at an annual rate, totaling $ 47.81 billion.
Conversely, South Korean exports were worth 50.73 billion dollars, an increase of 45.6%, year-on-year.
In particular, the growth rate of exports was the highest in 32 years, reported the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOTIE).
But it should be taken into account that the comparison base is low, due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
South Korea is still considering joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Treaty of Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which was signed by 11 Asia-Pacific countries in March 2018.
Also, on November 15, 2020, South Korea signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Association (RCEP) with 14 other Indo-Pacific countries.
In 2019, of the total world trade in products, the RCEP comprised 27%, while the TIPAT (excluding the United States) had a 15% share, according to World Bank data.
South Korea’s imports
The opening of the Korean economy to international trade and its integration into the world economy have continued to be reflected in the high proportion of GDP that corresponds to its trade in goods and services (exports plus imports), which reached 76.7% in 2019.
South Korea’s main imports include petroleum oils, electrical equipment, gas, hydrocarbons, and coal.
On the other hand, among the products exported by the country, the following stand out: electrical equipment, vehicles, petroleum oils and auto parts.
According to the WTO, trends in international trade and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) reflect the importance that the Asia-Pacific region continues to have as the main market and regional supplier, although China, the EU and the United States continue being Korea’s main individual interlocutors in trade and FDI.
South Korea’s exports increased to its main destinations, including China (22.7%), the United States (62.8%), the European Union (62.8%), and the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (64.3 percent).