South Korea decides to join CPTPP trade agreement
S. Korea decided on Apr. 15 to join a mega free trade agreement involving 11 Asia-Pacific nations as the country seeks to diversify its export portfolio amid heightened economic uncertainty. The plan to join the CPTPP was approved at an economy-related ministers' meeting on Apr. 15, and the government will submit an official application after completing domestic procedures, including a report to the National Assembly, officials said. "The envisioned entry carries significance, as it would help us better respond to fast-changing global circumstances and ensure stable supply chains in the Asia-Pacific region," Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo said. The CPTPP, launched in December 2018, has been signed by 11 countries, including Japan, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Mexico. The member nations had accounted for around 15 percent of the world's total trade volume of USD 5.2 trillion as of 2020, according to government data.
South Korea's Small Midsized Enterprises exports expand nearly 14% in Q1
Exports by S. Korean small and midsized enterprises (SMEs) swelled nearly 14 percent in the first quarter of the year despite the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Apr. 18. SMEs' overseas shipments stood at USD 30.4 billion in the January-March period, up 13.9 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups. It marks the highest first-quarter amount since related data tracking began in 2010. It was the second-highest quarterly tally after the USD 31.5 billion recorded in the last quarter of 2021.
By product, exports of plastic products increased 6.2 percent on-year to USD 1.34 billion in the three-month period, with those of pharmaceuticals surging 12.3 percent to USD 1.34 billion. Overseas shipments of auto parts edged up 0.6 percent to USD 1.09 billion, while exports of cosmetics goods sank 9 percent to USD 1.12 billion due to sluggish shipments to China. Exports to China rose 5.3 percent on-year to USD 5.72 billion, and overseas shipments to the U.S. came to USD 4.45 billion.