South Korea’s Food Exports Rose to $6.2 Billion in 6 Months

A worker at a supermarket in South Korea puts bags of instant noodles on the shelves (Yonhap news agency)
A worker at a supermarket in South Korea puts bags of instant noodles on the shelves (Yonhap news agency)
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South Korea’s Food Exports Rose to $6.2 Billion in 6 Months

A worker at a supermarket in South Korea puts bags of instant noodles on the shelves (Yonhap news agency)
A worker at a supermarket in South Korea puts bags of instant noodles on the shelves (Yonhap news agency)

South Korea's exports of food and related goods rose 5.2% on-year in the first half of 2024, government data showed, led by the popularity of instant noodles and processed rice products.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said that outbound shipments of the food segment known as “K-Food Plus” reached $6.21 billion, compared with $5.9 billion posted a year earlier, the country’s Yonhap new agency reported on Saturday.
K-Food Plus encompasses a diverse range of food products and related items, from fresh and processed goods to agricultural equipment and solutions.
By product, exports of instant noodles jumped 32.3% to hit $590.2 million, with those of processed rice products gaining 41.4 percent to $136.9 million, the data showed.
The ministry attributed the growth in instant noodle exports to the popularity of social media content featuring spicy product challenges, as well as the release of customized products by exporters.
South Korean rice products also gained popularity, as frozen gimbap, or seaweed rice rolls, attracted significant attention in the US market as a gluten-free and healthy eating option, the ministry said.
By destination, exports to the US surged 17%, reaching $736 million, driven by increased demand due to revitalized consumer spending, a stabilizing labor market and eased inflation.
Exports to China also edged up 3.1% to $702 million, as exporters utilized online platforms and influencers to promote South Korean foodstuffs.
Shipments to Japan, on the other hand, declined by 7% during the period to $671.3 million, due to the reduced spending power of Japanese consumers, the ministry added.



New Legislation Facilitates Investment in Saudi Tourism Sector

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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New Legislation Facilitates Investment in Saudi Tourism Sector

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib said, in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, that work is underway on new regulations and legislation that will facilitate the investment process in the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is witnessing a major transformation in the tourism sector after it enacted and developed a number of regulations and launched mega projects that allowed the country to attract more than 100 million visitors last year, the target initially set for 2030.
During a press conference on Wednesday at the Abu Faraj heritage palaces in Al-Aziza, west of the city of Abha in the southern Aseer region, Al-Khatib revealed the ministry’s moves to provide appropriate long-term funding at a competitive cost in order to encourage investment in the Saudi tourism system.
In his remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, the minister pointed to the most prominent achievements in the sector, revealing that the Kingdom received 60 million visitors during the first half of 2024, with spending amounting to SAR 143 billion ($38.1 billion), recording about 10 percent growth in the number of tourists and spending.
He added that by the end of the first half of this year, the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product had reached 5 percent, and was moving steadily toward achieving 10 percent, which is equivalent to SAR 600-700 billion of tourism income.
Moreover, Al-Khatib also spoke about the launch of the Bachelor of International Hospitality Management program, a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism, King Khalid University, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
He noted that a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Tourism and the Colleges of Excellence Company, with the aim of developing human capabilities and expanding international specialized technical colleges and strategic partnership institutes in the field of tourism and hospitality.
Al-Khateeb said 10,000 training opportunities both inside and outside the Kingdom would be allocated to those working in the Aseer region’s tourism sector.
The National Tourism Strategy aims to reach over 150 million local and international tourists by 2030. In 2023, it reached 109 million.
The minister added: “The Tourism Development Fund plays an important role in providing financing, allocating SAR 7.4 billion to enable over 100 tourism projects around the Kingdom with a value exceeding SAR 35 billion.”
He pointed out that the fund financed 10 major projects in the Aseer region, ranging from international hotels to multi-use projects with a value exceeding one billion riyals. International hotel brands included: InterContinental Residence in Abha, DoubleTree in Khamis Mushait Governorate, and Khayal Walk Boulevard.