Seoul offers $10bn in support for exporters

Featured Korea - May 1st, 2013
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The South Korean government has pledged $10bn of new financial support for its exporters, aiming to halt a drop in exports reported for April.

Stuttering global demand and a weakened Japanese currency were to blame, according to the Financial Times, for a 2.4% decrease in exports from March. The country exported goods and services worth $46.3bn in April, which did represent a 0.4% year-on-year rise, but the government wishes to intervene and halt the decline.

To revive growth, the government said it would increase from Won71tn ($64.5bn) to Won82.1tn the value of public loan programmes aimed at small and midsized exporters.

Trade minister Yoon Sang-jick said that the funding could help achieve a targeted export growth figure of 4.1% this year. The funds will be distributed by state financial institutions.

However, the FT reports that he cautioned Seoul would closely monitor the weakening Japanese yen, a source of concern for South Korean policy makers. This follows a warning last month from finance minister Hyun Oh-seok that the yen’s slide was already having an impact on the South Korean economy.