South Korea's auto exports were estimated to grow 3.1 percent in 2013 despite lasting instabilities in the global economy that will be offset by positive effects from the free trade agreement (FTA), the economy ministry said Monday.
According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the country's auto exports were forecast to reach 3.3 million units in 2013, up 3.1 percent from estimated 3.2 million for this year. The 2012 estimation was 1.5 percent higher than the previous year.
The ministry cautioned that the local auto industry will show a slight growth next year amid the persistent uncertainties in the global economy, saying that the eurozone fiscal crisis, the U.S. fiscal cliff and economic slowdown in China will have a negative impact on the auto sector.
However, the ministry noted that the auto industry will be boosted by the rising demand from North America and the positive effect from additional cuts in tariff following the FTA with the European Union (EU).
Meanwhile, domestic demand was expected to reach 1.55 million vehicles in 2013, up 1.2 percent from the estimated 1.53 million units for 2012, the ministry said, noting that demand for cars will be weighed down by risk factors such as massive household debts and weaker consumer confidence amid the global economic slump.