South Korea’s drug exports rose fastest to China last year, and medical devices shipments, to Vietnam, government data showed Monday.
According to the Global Trade Report by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), the exports of pharmaceutical products to China jumped 375.4 percent year-on-year to $335 million. Pharmaceutical exports to the Middle East and Europe also increased 28.3 percent and 27.3 percent, respectively, last year.
In value terms, Europe was the largest buyer of Korean drugs by importing $1.08 billion worth goods. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ranked second with $346 million imports, followed by Japan with $300 million, Latin America with $300 million, India with $275 million, and the U.S. with $152 million.
Korea’s exports of medical devices grew the most to Vietnam, up 79.7 percent to reach $22 million last year.
China was the largest importer of Korea’s medical devices, importing $143 million products. Europe came in second with $124 million imports, followed by ASEAN with $79 million, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) with $65 million, the Middle East with $60 million, and India with $53 million.
Even though Vietnam was a small importer of Korean medical devices, the shipments to Vietnam grew more than 70 percent, which was the fastest.
After Vietnam, export to CIS grew second fastest with 42.2 percent, followed by ASEAN with 29.2 percent, and Japan/the Middle East with 24.9 percent.
The total exports of pharmaceutical products to the 10 regions climbed 15.9 percent to $3.17 billion in 2017, and medical devices, up 14.8 percent to $606 million.
KOTRA said the report aimed to identify export trends for high value-added items and promising consumer goods. The promising consumer goods included six items -- pharmaceutical goods, medical devices, agricultural and fishery products, cosmetics, household products, and fashion apparels.
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