UK and South Korea set to announce new trade partnership

Earlier this month, International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan hosted the inaugural UK-South Korea FTA Committee in London and meet her Korean counterpart, Yeo Han-koo, to discuss increased trade and collaboration in key areas such as digital, the environment and supporting small business. Both sides will aim to start talks on an enhanced trade deal later this year.

Trade between the UK and South Korea totalled £13.3 billion in the year to September 2021 – up 11 percent on 2020. In particular, UK exports to South Korea have seen strong growth, increasing by 12 per cent in the same year.

Following the global chip shortage and other supply chain issues caused by the pandemic, they also signed an agreement to strengthen supply chain resilience. As one of the UK’s biggest trading partner for critical goods, the agreement will help ensure the continued smooth flow of key supplies between our two countries.

After the meeting, Trevelyan will travel to Redhill to visit Ceres Power, the green energy pioneer that signed a £43 million partnership with South Korean firm Doosan.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “This is our Indo-Pacific tilt in action – strengthening ties with one of the largest economies in the world. From offshore wind to hydrogen, 2021 saw many examples of the growing collaboration between our two nations – particularly on clean growth. I’m excited to build on our existing trade agreement, going even further in areas like technology and services.”

South Korea, a global leader in electronics and more recently cultural exports like K-pop and Squid Game, counts cars, whisky and crude oil amongst its top goods imports from the UK.

As a top ten economy and industrial powerhouse, South Korea offers UK businesses fantastic export and investment opportunities. The country also forms part of the UK’s strategic tilt to trade more with the Indo-Pacific region.

In the year since the UK-Korea Continuity FTA came into force, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has supported a range of UK firms to secure export wins in South Korea.