Overview In 2022, South Korea was the number 13 economy in the world in terms of GDP (current US$), the number 5 in total exports, the number 10 in total imports, the number 33 economy in terms of GDP per capita (current US$) and the number 4 most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI) .

Exports The top exports of South Korea are Integrated Circuits ($121B), Refined Petroleum ($61.4B), Cars ($52.1B), Broadcasting Equipment ($24.2B), and Motor vehicles; parts and accessories (8701 to 8705) ($20B), exporting mostly to China ($150B), United States ($112B), Vietnam ($60.7B), Japan ($30.5B), and Hong Kong ($28.9B).

In 2022, South Korea was the world's biggest exporter of Blank Audio Media ($11.6B), Cyclic Hydrocarbons ($9.79B), Special Purpose Ships ($7.36B), Oxometallic or Peroxometallic Acid Salts ($4.68B), and Styrene Polymers ($3.93B)

Imports The top imports of South Korea are Crude Petroleum ($89.1B), Integrated Circuits ($56.4B), Petroleum Gas ($46.9B), Coal Briquettes ($26.8B), and Refined Petroleum ($26.1B), importing mostly from China ($150B), United States ($73.6B), Japan ($50.8B), Australia ($41B), and Saudi Arabia ($36B).

In 2022, South Korea was the world's biggest importer of Inorganic Salts ($4.02B), Starch Residue ($719M), Hydrides and other anions ($110M), Other Vegetable Fibers Fabric ($18.2M), and Wood Wool ($10.2M)

Location South Korea borders North Korea by land and China and Japan by sea.

Latest Trends

February, 2024

Historical Data

Yearly Trade

Top Export (2022)Integrated Circuits$121B
Top Destination (2022)China$150B

In 2022, South Korea exported a total of $705B, making it the number 5 exporter in the world. During the last five reported years the exports of South Korea have changed by $104B from $601B in 2017 to $705B in 2022.

The most recent exports are led by Integrated Circuits ($121B), Refined Petroleum ($61.4B), Cars ($52.1B), Broadcasting Equipment ($24.2B), and Motor vehicles; parts and accessories (8701 to 8705) ($20B). The most common destination for the exports of South Korea are China ($150B), United States ($112B), Vietnam ($60.7B), Japan ($30.5B), and Hong Kong ($28.9B).

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Exports (2022)
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Destinations (2022)
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Market Growth

Fastest Growing Export Markets (2021 - 2022)
United States$15.6B (+ 16.2%)
Australia$8.96B (+ 92.1%)
Singapore$6.65B (+ 42%)
Fastest Growing Import Markets (2021 - 2022)
Saudi Arabia$14.4B (+ 66.8%)
China$12B (+ 8.64%)
Australia$11.5B (+ 38.8%)

Total Export Growth by Market (2021 - 2022)

Service Trade

Service Trade

South Korea Exports Services (2018)$96.3B
South Korea Imports Services (2018)$118B

In 2018, South Korea exported $96.3B worth of services. The top services exported by South Korea in 2018 were Transportation ($27.7B), Other business services ($21.7B), Travel ($15.3B), Construction services ($12.7B), and Royalties and license fees ($7.75B).

The top services imported by South Korea in 2018 were Other business services ($32.9B), Transportation ($32.1B), Travel ($32B), Royalties and license fees ($9.88B), and Construction services ($3.27B).

Service Exports (2018)

Service Imports (2018)

Economic Complexity


Economic Complexity (Trade)1.71Rank 4 of 124
Economic Complexity (Technology)0.73Rank 32 of 96
Economic Complexity (Research)-0.044Rank 55 of 135

Most Specialized Products by RCA Index

South Korea has a high level of specialization in Oxometallic or Peroxometallic Acid Salts (17.4), Cast or Rolled Glass (9.18), Special Purpose Ships (8.74), Nitric Acids (8.33), and Halides (8.06). Specialization is measured using RCA, an index that takes the ratio between South Korea observed and expected exports in each product.

Export Opportunities by Relatedness

The top export opportunities for South Korea according to the relatedness index, were Incomplete Movement Sets (0.29), Aldehyde Derivatives (0.29), Mirrors and Lenses (0.28), Signaling Glassware (0.28), and Knitting Machines (0.28). Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product. The barchart show only products that South Korea is not specialized in.

Product Space

The product space is a network connecting products that are likely to be co-exported. The product space can be used to predict future exports, since countries are more likely to start exporting products that are related to current exports. Relatedness measures the distance between a product, and all of the products a country currently specializes in.

Relatedness Space

This network shows the products most related to the production structure of South Korea. These are products that tend to be co-exported with the products that South Korea exports. Higher relatedness values ​​indicate greater knowledge, which predicts a greater probability of exporting that product in the future.

Diversification Frontier


The Complexity-Relatedness diagram compares the risk vs strategic value of a country's potential export oppotunities. Relatedness is predictive of the probability that a country increases its exports in a product. Complexity, is associated with higher levels of income, economic growth, less income inequality, and lower greenhouse emissions.

Economic Complexity Ranking


During the last 20 years South Korea's⁩ ⁨economy has become relatively more complex, moving from the ⁩⁨24th to the 4th⁩ position in the ECI rank.

These economic complexity rankings use 6 digit exports classified according to the HS96 classification. We consider only countries with population of at least 1 million and exports of at least $1 billion, and products with world trade over $500 million. To explore different rankings and vary these parameters visit the custom rankings section.

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ECI (Trade) Ranking by Country

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