Korea's exports of electric vehicles and other promising industrial goods have soared in recent months, providing a hint of a silver lining amid the country's dismal export figures seen in recent months.
The trade ministry said Thursday that the total amount of exports across nine "new growth" sectors had jumped nearly eight percent on year, during the first quarter of 2019.
Outbound shipments of rechargeable batteries grew by nearly 12 percent on-year, hitting one.eight billion dollars, amid the global appetite for small electronics as well as cars and energy storage systems.
Biohealth products amounted to one.nine billion dollars, a ten percent increase over the cited period.
But what really drove up the figures was Korea's electric vehicles, as the country's small-to-medium sized cars become increasingly popular in the European market.
Electric vehicle exports more than doubled to 660-million dollars, posting a near 124-percent jump.
Korea's OLED panels which make up the lion's share of the global market also grew by four.two percent.
The encouraging numbers come amid a downward trend in Korea's export figures, which fell for the fifth straight month in April, largely due to decreasing demand for memory chips.
Korea has been aiming to nurture "new growth" sectors such as biohealth to move away from waning industries.
Observers say while growth prospects look rosy for the time being, Korean firms must step up their game.
"Sectors such as reusable batteries, OLED, and plastic products are seeing rapid growth globally, and competition is heating up, so Korean firms must invest in developing new technologies and products. Also, with the global market's shifting preference for green cars -- hydrogen-powered cars and SUVs, for instance Korean automakers should diversify their portfolios."
The trade ministry says it will aim to continue growth in promising new sectors, and plans to reveal a plan to inject some 83.nine billion dollars into developing and diversifying key export items in the first half of this year.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.