Korean wave, hallyu losing steam in many countries: report

September 30, 2015

K-pop star Psy (Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — The popularity of South Korean pop culture abroad has been losing its spark in many countries, according to a recent report.

The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) reported that the popularity of South Korean pop music, dramas and movies, known as hallyu, has been losing momentum in many of the 11 countries in five regions — Asia, Central and South America, the Middle East and Europe.

With the exception of China and some countries in Latin America, interest in the culture has either been stagnant or waning in recent months, according to the report.

“The economic effect of hallyu, such as in employment and other added value, was much higher than those of the manufacturing sector,” the KITA report said.

“It is necessary to actively foster industries related to the hallyu boom as a new drive for South Korea’s overall exports.”

Earlier this year, South Korean President Park Geun-hye also called for the further development of the cultural content industry as a means to boost the country’s exports.

Earnings from cultural content and leisure-related services in the first 10 months of 2014 stood at US$767.2 million, even higher than the $730.9 million posted in the full year of 2013, according to the Bank of Korea.