Amid the slowing growth rate of Korea's information and technology industry, some pundits are predicting that the good times may be over for those in this sector.
Overseas demand for IT products other than mobile phones, such as televisions, semiconductors and display panels has been falling behind that of non-IT products like cars and steel since 2006. This means that this formerly dependable industry, which once led the nation's exports, is now sitting on shakier ground.
IT products only accounted for 30 percent of exports this year, while non-IT products gobbled up a 40-percent share of the pie, a trend that looks set to continue this year.
According to recent data by the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, non-IT products are expected to post 14-percent growth in the latter half of the year, while overseas demand for IT products is forecast to grow by less than 10 percent.
Overseas shipments of automobiles, a key representative of non-IT products, increased by four percent over the last decade to make up around 13 percent of the nation's total exports, whereas sales of semiconductors, one of Korea's leading IT exports, dropped to 12 percent.
Despite the change in the composition of the country's exports, there are positives, say industry insiders. They point to how exports are becoming more stable and diverse, like those in neighboring Japan.