Chips still top Korean export item

2014_12_chipexportThe semiconductor business is now Korea’s top export earner. Through November, the nation’s major semiconductor makers including Samsung and SK pulled in about $56.8 billion in revenues, the largest ever and about 10.9 percent of the nation’s total exports for the period. There are more than two weeks remaining in 2014, but since oil products are the second-largest export item with total sales of $48.1 billion through November, semiconductors will be the nation’s No.1 export business for the second consecutive year. Industry insiders say total exports for the business will exceed $60 billion by the end of the year.

The semiconductor business, which began in the early 1980s, earned Korea foreign exchanges that were used as seed money to develop advanced electronics industries, including smartphones and wireless communication devices. It was the No. 1 export business for 16 years, from 1992 to 2007, but started fluctuating in 2008 due to the global finance crisis. In 2008, Korea only pulled in $32.8 billion, just 7.8 percent of the nation’s total exports, and chips ranked sixth in export earnings. Shipbuilding was the best export that year ($43.1 billion), followed by oil products, machinery, wireless communication devices, cars and semiconductors.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

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Korea’s shipbuilders turn to green ships

2013_02_shipbuildingSouth Korea’s struggling shipbuilding industry seeks to find breakthroughs with their focus toward green and energy-efficient ships. The industry’s winning strategy in the ongoing economic recession came from the market landscape where ship owners shift toward green and energy-efficient ships as a way of cutting fuel costs and environment standards are increasingly enhanced.

The nation’s top three shipbuilders including Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and even mid and large-sized ones including Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and SPP Shipbuilding bet on building eco-friendly ships, according to the shipbuilding industry Monday.

The nation’s top three shipbuilders are likely to compete in the race to secure an 18,000 TEU (Twenty-foot equivalent units) container ship order issued by the Middle East-based shipping company United Arab Shipping Company (UASC). The orders are worth a whopping $2 billion in total.

For full article, see Maeil Business.

Eco-friendly ships sail ahead

One solution for the drawn-out recession in the shipbuilding industry could be more environmentally-friendly ships, experts say. They are encouraging local shipbuilders to put forth more effort to develop fuel-efficient, “green” vessels.

From next year, the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) will be implemented to regulate gas-guzzling ships worldwide. The index indicates the amount of carbon dioxide emissions of a ship by number.

The International Maritime Organization has been discussing measures to slash carbon dioxide emissions exhausted by ships since 2008. It will impose even tighter rules from 2015, demanding a 10 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions every five years for every ship.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.