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Hallyu gains steam with exports rising 9.1% in 2018

Hallyu continues to have a positive impact on the economy with related exports rising 9.1 percent in 2018, according to a recent Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange report.

The report looked into Hallyu’s direct and indirect impact on the economy, particularly in exports. It estimates that Hallyu exports accounted for $9.48 billion in 2018.

Of the total Hallyu exports, cultural contents such as games, music and films accounted for $4.42 billion.

In 2018, the total value of Hallyu content exports increased by 22.8 percent compared with a year earlier to reach 4.42 billion dollars. Game industry exports topped the list with $3.06 billion. The music industry exports followed with $431 million, while TV contents came in third at $413 million.


The rate of increase in music industry exports remained relatively low at 4.4 percent despite boy band BTS’ major success in the US. During the same period, the game and film industries recorded 34 percent and 143 percent increase, respectively.

The report added that Hallyu has also contributed to $5.05 billion of exports in consumer products, such as cosmetics, automobiles and tourism products. However, the figure represents a 0.5 percent drop from the previous year. Yet, the total export value of consumer goods and tourism products at $5.05 billion decreased by 0.5 percent compared to last year, it added.

By Shim Woo-hyun (