Exports of Information Security-related Goods Soar by 23%The nation's exports of information security-related goods soared by 23 percent from 43.2 billion won in 2007 to 56.5 billion won in 2008.
Overseas shipments of system and network information security products rose by 23.6 percent and those of information security services went up by 12.9 percent, according to a government source.
By region, exports of information security-related goods and services to Europe and Southeast Asia accounted for 31.1 percent of the total.
By country, 36.4 percent of the total exports went to Japan; 20.8 percent to the U.S.; and 15.8 percent to China.
Meanwhile, a total of 5,006 people worked in the information security industry last year, an increase of 2.6 percent from 4,874 in 2007.
Of the total manpower, the number of people engaged in the R&D sector came to 2,167, accounting for 43.3 percent, up 2.8 percentage points from the previous year.
On the other hand, the number of people engaged in the business sector decreased by 4.1 percent to 738 in 2008.
Thanks to the won's continued depreciation against the dollar, the nation's exports of information security-related goods are expected to stay on the up and up for the time being, the source said.
In the meantime, imports of information security-related goods increased by 14.4 percent to 47.4 billion won in 2008. Imports of security management products and bio recognition products came to 10.1 billion won and 14.8 billion won, respectively, in 2008.
IT and Automobile Stocks Likely to Go Up on Weak WonAmid the won's weakening performance against the dollar, some stocks benefited from the depreciation, with IT and automobiles expected to enjoy an upward trend for the time being, Samsung Securities said.
Under the era of the weak won, stock investors are required to raise their portion of small and medium-sized export-oriented stocks, the brokerage house said, adding that foreign investors are likely to reduce their holdings of large company stocks because of the weak won.
The won-dollar exchange rate closed above 1,500 won on Feb. 20 for the first time in almost three months while the wonyen rate reached a record high due to fresh concerns over the financial crisis.
The Korean won depreciated nine sessions in a row starting Feb. 10 closing at 1,506 won per dollar, down 25 won from its previous close, and the lowest since Nov. 24 last year. The local currency also depreciated sharply against the Japanese yen, ending up at 1,599.41 won per 100 yen, the lowest level since the nation started officially announcing daily data in 1991.
Concerns have been raised that the faltering economic situation in East Europe will negatively affect lenders in West Europe and are feared to bring a second financial storm.
Moreover, a March crisis scenario has returned. According to the scenario, the financial market will fall into a liquidity crisis next spring. At the epicenter are Japanese banks. The scenario says that these banks, which settle accounts in March, will be collecting money to sustain their fiscal soundness. Coupled with the quarterly settlement of U.S. financial companies, dollars may flow out of the country en masse around spring, accordingly.
Under this situation, foreign investors are expected to sell Seoul stocks more and take more dollars out of the country. Accordingly, the won is expected to continue to lose its strength against the greenback for the time being, a stock analyst said. As a result, stock investors need to pay keen attention to stocks that have benefited from the won's depreciation, such as IT and auto stocks, which largely depend on exports, the analyst said.
Lee Proposes Global Deal for G20President Lee Myung-bak officially suggested a so-called Global Deal, a global initiative where each government comes to an agreement to practice expansionary fiscal policies.
This proposal could be part of a strategic movement to occupy an important position in the reorganization process of the G20 summit as a G20 Chair.
President Lee said: “The world needs to cooperate to enlarge fiscal spending - a Global Deal - to deal with this big global recession involved with a depressed real economy and mass unemployment.” He spoke at the event Global Korea 2009, Korea in a Reshaping World held by the Committee for Future Strategy and the Korea Council of Humanities and Social Research Institute on the February 23.
President Lee also said: “We expect to reach a practical arrangement about Global Deal at the G20 summit in London in April. We are concerned about showing signs that threaten the open economic system which made the global economy flourish after WWII. The world shouldn't accept protectionism. If the WTO finishes the DDA [Doha Development Agenda] round earlier and strengthens the institutional base for a multilateral trading system, it may be a solution. So, we suggest that every WTO member should agree to restart the full negotiations for arriving at an arrangement within this year.”
This statement is a strategic action to strengthen export-led Aisan economies and also to secure a Korean foothold in the process of discussing the reformation of the financial system at the G20 summit.
Lee also spoke about Green Growth by insisting: “Korea will lead Green Growth by promoting the East Asian Partnership on Climate with other East Asian countries.”
This conference was held to mark Lee's fist year. Seven hundred people came to attend the conference including Robert Rubin who is the former Minster of Finance of America, Pascal Lamy who is the WTO Director-General, Thomas Friedman who is a columnist for the NYT, and other figures from politics, businesses, and academics.