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South Korea to Double Exports of Farm, Fisheries Products by 2017

The South Korea agriculture ministry announced their intentions to try and double its outbound shipments of farm and fisheries products to $16 billion in the next five years, and in order to do so the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will invest nearly 2 trillion won (or $1.86 billion) by 2017, “with most of the amount to be spent on research and development projects to develop country-specific products,” said Lim Jeong-bin, head of the ministry’s food industry policy bureau.

South Korea’s farm exports have been growing steadily with an average annual increase of 16 percent over the past five years, according to the ministry, and favorable conditions are being created to significantly expand the country’s exports in the agricultural and fisheries sectors with an expansion of markets in neighboring countries such as China and Vietnam.

China is quickly catching up to Japan as the world’s largest importer of South Korean food products, purchasing $467 million worth of products in the first half of the year, up 9.5 percent from the same period last year. Vietnam is the largest importer of South Korean products among the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) trade bloc, which together purchased $1.19 billion worth of food products from South Korea in 2012.

The ministry hopes to double food and fisheries exports from $8 billion in 2012 to $16 billion in 2017 by creating 10 large-scale fish farms to produce country-specific and high-value products.

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