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[SEOUL] South Korea's finance minister urged exporters to China to make a strategic shift to focus on consumer goods and move away from raw materials and intermediate goods, that currently account for a major part of sales to South Korea's biggest export market.
Delivering a speech in Seoul, Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan said sluggish global demand, a weak yen and euro, along with increased competition from exporters in developing economies were all posing challenges for South Korea.
"We have a number of policy measures to spur export growth. But, a strategic change in our exports to China is most urgently needed," Mr Choi said at an event to showcase South Korean products on Alibaba Group's Tmall.com online shopping website.
South Korea has suffered falling exports so far this year, and Mr Choi warned that without a change in strategy the export sector could lose its role as a "sturdy pillar" for South Korea's economy.
The finance minister had earlier held private discussions with Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, who was also attending the event.