Exporters must prepare for advancement of Chinese industries: vice minister

First Deputy Finance Minister Bang Ki-sun (third from left) chairs a meeting of vice ministers at the government complex in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)

SEJONG — South Korea must prepare for a shift in its trade relationship with China as the world’s economic powerhouse industries see rapid development, First Deputy Finance Minister Bang Ki-sun said on Friday.

At an economy-related vice ministers’ meeting in Seoul, Bang said China’s industrial structure has shown “technological progress,” adding that this has led to a change in the bilateral trade structure with Korea.

The government will spare no effort to establish long-lasting and reciprocal relations with China, its biggest trading partner, by effectively dealing with the situation, he said.

He also expressed concerns about Korea’s below-expected performance in shipments to China.

“China’s GDP growth in the second quarter remained at 0.4% year-on-year, due to the lockdown of major cities (mid-pandemic),” he said. “Affected by this, Korea’s exports to China have contracted recently, as the country continued to post double-digit growth (in shipments to China).”

The minister said that “it is necessary for policymakers to take action, to create conditions for the Korean economy to experience a rapid rebound when the Chinese economy enters recovery mode.”

Countermeasures would include offering trade finance, fixing a problem in supply chains and relaxing regulations, he said.

According to data suggested by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, export growth to China fell 0.8% in June and 2.5% in the first 20 days of July, compared to periods correspondents of 2021.

This contrasts with the positive growth of 22.9% in 2021 and 15.5% in the first quarter of 2022.

By Kim Yon-se ([email protected])

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