Two-thirds of SMEs suffer falling exports amid pandemic: poll

SEOUL, Two-thirds of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Korea saw their exports drop this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, a poll showed Wednesday.
The survey of 500 smaller exporting companies showed 67.4 percent of the respondents saying their overseas shipments shrank in the first 11 months of the year from 2019.
Only 8.2 percent replied exports increased from a year earlier, while 24.4 percent said this year’s overseas shipments were similar to those of last year.
The poll, taken by the Korea Federation of SMEs, also showed nearly 50 percent expecting their 2021 exports to be similar to those of this year.
Nearly 41 percent forecast their exports to worsen in the coming year, with 9.6 percent expecting improvements.
Those pessimistic exporting companies cited a global economic slump stemming from the coronavirus pandemic as the top reason for their gloomy outlook.
Tougher non-tariff barriers and protectionism came next with 25.1 percent, followed by a logistics bottleneck with 23.2 percent and a strong South Korean currency with 13 percent.
Nearly 53 percent of those SMEs called on the government to put its top priority on helping secure cargo ships and flights, and cover their shipping costs, according to the survey.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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