South Korea's trade volume topped $1 trillion for the first time in 2011 and the commerce ministry said Friday it wants to double that by 2020.
The ministry said efforts will be made to foster about 20,000 more small and mid-sized exporting companies in the next eight years so the country's annual trade volume can go over $2 trillion by 2020, Yonhap news agency reported.
The annual trade volume exceeded $1 trillion in early December, making South Korea the ninth country in the world to have reached the $1-trillion level, the report said.
Under the new plan, the government would sponsor programs to enhance trading capacity of fledgling start-ups, and encourage support companies currently centered on the domestic market to look overseas, the report said.
A Xinhua commentary, carried by the People's Daily, said despite the European debt crisis, China's bilateral trade with Germany totaled $170 billion last year, and is expected to reach $280 billion by 2015.
"Chinese leaders have repeatedly thrown their weight behind Europe by saying China always has had confidence in the European economy and the euro and will continue to make Europe one of its main investment markets," the commentary said.