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An Analysis of Regional Export Competitiveness using Export Structure Sophistication Index: With a focus on Gyeongnam

Author Kim Jisoo Date 2020.04.30 Series
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Korea, a small open economy, is characterized by its high dependency on the international environment and this also applies at the municipal level. In the past, Korea’s economy grew by exporting goods of its main industries and in this process, certain strategically selected provinces paved the way in developing the region and Korea’s economy by acting as an exporting foothold.
One such province, Gyeongnam, has consistently increased its export volume, ranking third amongst the country’s regions only behind Ulsan and Gyeong-gi in 2011 and has been a leading player in bringing wealth into the country. At that time, exports accounted for around 80 percent of Gyeongnam’s GRDP, reflecting the high trade dependency of the region. However, the role of trade in Gyeongnam has diminished over time and now its export volume recently ranked 7th in the country in 2018. Furthermore, its export growth has fallen short of its total GRDP growth raising concerns about the role of trade in the region’s growth.