Representatives of the Tower of Export winners, including Samsung Electronics Chief Executive Officer Kim Ki-nam (third from left) pose for a photo with President Moon Jae-in (fourth from left) during a ceremony held at Coex in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
Samsung Electronics was recognized with a $110 billion Tower of Export at the 58th Trade Day in South Korea, in an unprecedented move among companies of Asia’s fourth-largest economy, data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy showed Dec. 6.
This comes as the Korean technology bellwether earned $113.2 billion from July 2020 to June this year from exports of semiconductor chips, consumer electronics and mobile handsets. This accounted for a fifth of the total exports of Korea over the cited period, according to the government.
This is the first time that a single Korean company exceeded $100 billion in annual exports. The Trade Ministry said Samsung has maintained the top position in the global market with products ranging from televisions to foldable phones memory chips. Also, its home appliances under the Bespoke brand, including refrigerators, washing machines, garment steamers, air conditioners and cordless vacuum cleaners, have been gaining traction at home and abroad, the ministry added.
The figure represents Samsung Electronics’ fast-paced growth in leading Korean exports. The tech giant in 1979 won the Tower of Export by achieving $100 million in annual exports, 10 years after its foundation. Its exports have soared 900-fold in less than four decades.
The honor has been given to a company that delivered over $1 million in annual exports to commemorate Hanil Synthetic Fibers, which topped $100 million in exports for the first time in 1973. Seventy Korean companies, including Samsung Electronics, testing kit maker Seegene, gaming company Krafton and media production firm Studio Dragon, were eligible for the award with more than $100 million in yearly exports, while some 1,580 firms crossed the $1 million mark, the government said.
Meanwhile, the Trade Ministry honored representatives of five companies -- nucleic acid extraction technology firm Genolution, mold manufacturer Daechang, laminated steel sheet maker DCM Corp., raw material maker for elastic fibers Kumho Mitsui Chemicals and automaker Hyundai Motor -- with the Gold Tower Order of Industrial Service Merit.
The Silver Tower Order of Industrial Service Merit also went to five entities, including Saudi Aramco-backed refiner S-Oil’s Chief Executive Officer Hussain al-Qahtani.
Notably, S-Oil said al-Qahtani was recognized for enhancing Korea’s export competitiveness and industrial development through the operation of a 5 trillion-won ($4.23 billion) petrochemical complex in Ulsan and the planning of a 7 trillion-won investment for the “Shaheen” project, designed to add a steam cracker and an olefin downstream facility in Ulsan.
S-Oil also contributed to promoting Korea’s exports by solidifying the partnership with S-Oil’s parent company Saudi Aramco, signing a $3.5 billion fuel product supply agreement with Aramco’s Singaporean affiliate in the first half, the company added.
They were among 34 winners of the Order of Industrial Service Merit on Monday. Also during the event, 31 individuals received the Industrial Service Medal for their contribution to Korea’s trade development.
One of the winners was Moon Hyuk-soo, the senior vice president who heads the optics solution business unit at mobile phone component maker LG Innotek. The company said Moon spearheaded the new trend by rolling out cutting-edge cellphone camera modules equipped with technologies for lens-based optical image stabilization in 2010, dual front-facing cameras in 2016 and sensor-shift image stabilization for high-end products in 2020. Moon has also played a leading role in LG Innotek‘s mass production of 3D sensor modules for smartphones’ distance measurement tools since 2017, the company added.
Korea celebrated its 58th Trade Day on Dec. 5, a day ahead of the event held at Coex in Seoul. The nation achieved $1 trillion in year-to-date trade volume on Dec. 5, 2011 for the first time in its history, becoming the ninth country to do so in the world.
By Son Ji-hyoung (firstname.lastname@example.org)