South Korea's international trade organization said Wednesday it held a meeting with the industry ministry to share ideas on supporting the local automobile industry amid growing protectionism around the globe.
The Korea International Trade Association said it held this year's first round of regular forum talks with the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, centering on the car industry.
While KITA and the ministry have held regular trade discussions once a year, the two decided to convene monthly meetings starting in 2019 to better deal with the looming hurdles confronting businesses.
South Korea's shipments of cars declined 1.9 percent on-year in 2018, despite overall exports rising 5.5 percent, due to sluggish performance in the United States. Economic instability in emerging markets hurt overseas sales.
Officials from Hyundai Motor Co., Renault Samsung Motors Corp., and SsangYong Motor Co. also attended the meeting, along with LG Electronics Co., which has recently been expanding its business activity into the vehicle component industry.
Local carmakers have been claiming that the government should make more efforts to cope with rising trade barriers, especially those erected by Washington.
The US has been mulling an option to slap so-called Section 232 tariffs on automobiles and auto parts, citing national security.
Local companies added that the United States Mexico Canada Agreement also creates uncertainty for the local automobile industry.
The industry ministry said the government will speed up its efforts to expand ties with southern and central Asian nations, providing local carmakers with more overseas markets. (Yonhap)