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Cell phones are dominant in high-tech export surge

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Oct 08,2003
Mobile phone sales by Korean manufactures, both for export and domestic use, are poised to set a new record of 100 million units during 2003. That, industry sources said, would give Korea a commanding 25 percent share of the global market this year. Exporters shipped $1.1 billion worth of cell phones last month, up 23 percent over shipments in September 2002. Exporting companies predict that Korea’s total exports of mobile phones will reach $10 billion for the year. According to industry sources, Samsung Electronics Co. could see a 30-percent increase in mobile phone shipments this year; it delivered 43 million handsets in 2002. LG Electronics foresees shipments of 23 million phones, up 43 percent over its sales in 2002. Pantech & Curitel Communications’ sales were estimated at 12 million units for the year, and Sewon Telecom and Maxon Telecom Co. together are expected to deliver 7.5 million phones. “The U.S. economy is on the mend and the Chinese market is growing rapidly,” a Ministry of Information and Communication official said. He added that Europeans have been replacing old cell phones in large numbers this year. With those strong exports of cell phones, total exports of information technology goods rose to $5 billion in September, breaking the previous high of $4.9 billion set the previous month. Exports of electronic components, including semiconductors, jumped 31 percent in September compared with foreign sales during the same month of 2002, to reach $1.8 billion. Although chip exports to the United States had continued to shrink from February through August because of the anti-subsidy duties imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department on chips exported by Hynix Semiconductor, but exports to that market rose 16 percent last month. Computer monitor exports were a $100 million business last month, a 45-percent increase since September 2002, even though computer exports fell 39 percent, also to $100 million. Korea ran a $2.1 billion surplus in IT trade last month, the information ministry said. by Choi Hyung-kyu


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