, Korea

Exports of South Korea's virus-related medical goods surged four-fold in 2020

The country has also expressed plans to speed up exports of medical supplies.

South Korea's exports of test kits for COVID-19, protective masks and other virus-related goods soared more than fourfold to $5.9b in 2020, from $1.28b in the previous year, Yonhap reported based on data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Exports of medical test kits surged more than fourfold on-year to reach $4.5b in 2020, whilst those of masks also soared sixfold to reach $723m. In 2020, the country's overall exports came to $512.8b, declining 5.4% from 2019.

The ministry attributed the robust performance to the country's relatively successful efforts to contain the spread of the virus, which led to higher credibility of local products. Since reporting its first patient in 2020, South Korea has so far reported a little more than 103,000 cases.

At the same time, South Korea plans to speed up the exports of medical supplies through official development assistance (ODA) projects, whilst seeking to penetrate deeper into existing markets, including the United States and Europe as well.

The country also plans to help local companies win overseas approval for medical supplies, including from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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