SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will make all-out efforts to boost its exports this year, partly by helping local firms develop global leading products and win large overseas construction projects, the government said Thursday.
Under the joint government plan, the trade ministry said it will work to develop five consumer goods with over 1 trillion won (US$860 million) each in global sales.
In 2016, Sulwhasoo of cosmetics giant AmorePacific and the Whoo, also a cosmetics brand from No. 2 cosmetics maker LG Household & Health Care, met such qualifications to be labeled global leading products, the ministry said.
It will work to develop at least three more such brands this year, it added.
Such measures come as exports, a major pillar of growth for Asia's fourth-largest economy, have dwindled for two consecutive years since 2015.
The country's outbound shipments dipped 5.9 percent on-year to $495.5 billion last year, following a 7.9 percent drop in the year before.
The trade ministry said the government measures will improve overall exports by 2.9 percent to $510 billion this year.
Such measures also include additional support for local builders in securing large overseas deals.
Overseas construction orders clenched by South Korean firms have been more than halved from $66 billion in 2014 to less than $28.2 billion last year, the government said earlier.
Starting this year, the government will select 20 prospective and promising overseas projects, each worth over $1 billion, and help local construction firms win those deals.
They include a planned project to build the world's longest suspension bridge in Turkey's Canakkale province, expected to be worth $3.22 billion.
To this end, the government will name up to four regional ambassadors to Asia, Central America and the Middle East, who will specifically work to help local builders win new construction orders in their regions, the government said.
The government hopes such measures will boost the overall construction orders to over $35 billion this year.
In addition, the government will work to maintain the growth in foreign investment to South Korea.
In 2016, foreign direct investment pledged to South Korea reached a record high of $21.3 billion, gaining 1.9 percent from the previous year.
Efforts to attract more investment may include additional deregulations, as well as lowering the overall entry barrier for foreign investors, the government said.
Yoo Heui jin firstname.lastname@example.org
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