Korea’s tech exports were third-biggest in the world

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Samsung_IFA_Berlin_2008Korea’s information and communications technology (ICT) exports in 2015 were the third-largest in the world, thanks to mobile phones and semiconductors, the government said.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Monday, ICT exports recorded $172.9 billion last year, down 1.9 percent compared to 2014.

Although they declined, the rate was considered minimal since global ICT exports declined by 5.8 percent year-on-year, the Trade Ministry said.

Korea was the world’s No. 3 ICT exporter for the first time trailing China and the United States.

By product, shipments of mobile phones increased 9.8 percent last year, and semiconductors rose by 0.4 percent.

Korean-made displays and televisions tumbled during the same period, by 6.8 percent and 26 percent, respectively, due to competition from cheaper Chinese TVs.

Meanwhile, Korea imported ICT products worth $91.32 billion last year, resulting in a trade surplus for ICT products of $81.56 billion.

Amid an economic slowdown in China and emerging economies, ICT exports this year are forecast to fall. But shipments of solid state drives (SSD) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) are expected to continue to see double-digit growth.

BY KIM JI-YOON [kim.jiyoon@joongang.co.kr]