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S Korea's IT product exports hit new high in 2011

01-05-2012 16:02 BJT

SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's exports of information technology (IT) products hit a new high last year helped by strong demand for system semiconductors and smartphones, a government report showed Thursday.

Exports of locally-manufactured IT products amounted to a fresh record of 156.97 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, up 2 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. It was the second consecutive year that the IT exports set new records.

Despite external uncertainties such as Europe's debt crisis and the flood in Thailand, South Korea's IT exports showed better performance last year helped by strong demand for hardware- software converging products such as system chips, smartphones and tablet computers, the ministry said.

Outbound shipments of locally-made smartphones jumped 53.5 percent on-year to 11.88 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, making South Korea the world's No.1 producer of mobile phones. According to Strategy Analytics, smartphones produced by South Korea accounted for 27.1 percent of the global smartphone market in the third quarter of last year, making the country the world leader in the field.

The country's TV exports grew 4.8 percent on-year to 7.81 billion dollars last year as local manufacturers dominated the developing market with premium products such as 3-dimensional TVs and smart TVs despite slowing demand in the global market.

Exports of chips edged down 1.1 percent on-year to 50.15 billion U.S. dollars in 2011 due to a plunge in unit price of memory chips, but the global market share in the field surpass the 60 percent level for the first time due to strong demand for system semiconductors of which exports surged 24 percent to 20 billion U.S. dollars over the cited period.

Overseas shipments of display panels contracted 7.1 percent to 31.39 billion U.S. dollars last year owing to falling prices of the products, but local firms strengthened their dominance in the global market with premium products such as organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays. According to Display Search, the nation's global market share in the flat screen sector came in at 53.6 percent in the third quarter.


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