In the mid 1960s, Korea began to make itself known as an exporter of such labour intensive products as textiles, apparel, plywood, shoes, and consumer electronics. Ten years later it began to diversify into heavy industries and soon became an important exporter of steel, ships, construction services, and machinery. By the mid 1980s, Korea emerged to challenge advanced countries by producing subcompact cars, semiconductors and computers, and began exporting them to North America and Europe.