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Ukraine crisis could have negative impact on tech exports, small firms: S.Korea

Korea said Wednesday the Ukraine crisis could have negative impacts on smaller companies and the country’s exports of tech products as it has joined global efforts to impose sanctions against Russia.

The government also said the country’s grain imports from Ukraine have faced strains while there have been no problems with its energy imports from Russia.

“There are high concerns that the negative fallout of the Ukraine crisis could become gradually visible across sectors,” the government said.

Last week, the United States announced sweeping export controls against Russia over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which require companies to receive a license from Washington for tech-related items using U.S. technology and software before they can be shipped to Russia.

The Foreign Direct Product Rule (FDPR) aims to block Russia’s access to global high-tech products and other major items.

Korea was not included in a list of 32 nations, including the European Union, Britain and Japan, which will be exempt from the FDPR.

Korea is seeking to receive an exemption from Washington’s FDPR on concerns that the measure could affect major Korean exporters, including leading chipmakers Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, as they use U.S. technology and software.

“The government will make efforts to swiftly reach an agreement with the U.S. over the exemption as early as possible through high-level consultations,” Korea’s Trade Minister Yeo Han-Koo told Yonhap News Agency during his trip to Mexico.’

Korea said if the Ukraine crisis is protracted, Korean small firms’ business operations may hit a snag amid spikes in commodity prices and increased volatility in the financial market.

The government is closely monitoring the development of the Ukraine turmoil on concerns that it could disrupt energy supplies and affect imports of raw materials. The country heavily relies on imports for most of its energy needs.

The government said it has additionally secured 165,000 tons of edible corn from countries in Eastern Europe as it has become uncertain whether Korea will be able to import the planned 180,000 tons of corn from Ukraine. Yonhap

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