Manufacturers urged to focus on quality of growth
SEOUL, South Korea's industry minister on Thursday called for manufacturers to focus on the quality of their growth as the sector is expected to suffer from a global economic slowdown this year.
Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Sung Yun-mo made the remarks at a meeting with heads of local economic institutes earlier in the day.
South Korea's exports are facing sluggish growth this year mainly due to external factors, such as a trade dispute between the United States and China, a global slowdown and a decline in oil prices, Sung told the meeting.
"However, it is time to look back on whether the manufacturing sector put too much focus on expanding quantity, rather than pursuing a high-quality growth model," the policymaker said.
The government will set up a task force to reinvigorate exports by the end of this month, Sung said.
South Korea's outbound shipments declined 5.8 percent in January from a year earlier, hit by weaker performances by chips and petrochemical goods.
Total exports came to US$46.3 billion last month, down from $49.2 billion posted a year earlier, according to official data.
It marked the second consecutive month of an on-year drop. South Korea had not posted an on-year decrease in exports for two straight months since the September-October period of 2016.
Source: Yonhap News Agency