South Korea’s semiconductor trade deficit was slashed by 93% in the third quarter thanks to rising DRAM ASPs and a general global IT recovery, according to industry sources.
The country reported $5.26 billion in exports vs. $5.3 billion in imports for a trade deficit of $41 million — the second consecutive quarter of more than 70% reductions in the trade deficit, which was at $1.07 billion in 1Q03. Korea’s semiconductor trade also has a two-month streak of profits: $146 million in September followed $15 million in August.
The Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy said it wants to increase annual semiconductor exports from $16.6 billion in 2002 to $50 billion by 2010, incorporating 15% of global chip sales. To this end, the government plans a series of investments, according to the Asia Pulse Businesswire: $68 million over the next four years into R&D for SoC design technologies; another $17 million over the next decade to develop nano-class, next-generation technologies; and $23 million until 2006 to replace equipment at major chip R&D centers.