A “huge” demand for British products and services in South Korea is boosting UK companies exports to the east Asian country, according to the government.
International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said that British firms saw a £620m surge in exports to South Korea last year, a jump of nine per cent.
Trade between the UK and South Korea was worth just over £13bn between January and June 2021, with Britain exporting around £2bn more to the profitable Asian market than it imported.
Moreover, Trevelyan said around £70m in deals were a direct result of government-sponsored trade shows in the country.
Demand for British products
Government data showed there is a healthy appetite for Made in UK products in South Korea, with wind turbines, life jackets, PPE and hydrogen fuel cells among the most-sold items last year.
South Korea, the ninth largest economy in the world, is firmly on the British government’s post-Brexit radar.
“As part of our Global Britain agenda – we are helping businesses capitalise on the huge demand for British goods and services in South Korea,” Trevelyan said.
“We have already negotiated the world’s most ambitious digital trade deal with Singapore this year, and we’re on track to join the CPTPP next year, a huge free trade area with a combined GDP of £8.4 trillion,” she added.
As the UK eyes future growth opportunities in the Indo-Pacific, we plan to strengthen trade ties with the region’s biggest economies like South Korea.International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan
In addition, the minister for exports, Mike Freer, said: “UK exports to South Korea have boomed this year, with British businesses wrapping up deals worth tens of millions. We expect this trend to continue as we implement our new 12-point export strategy and build out our ambitious UK Tradeshow Programme.
“Not only will this plan give businesses the tools needed to take their top quality products worldwide, but it also focuses support on SMEs and businesses outside London to help level up opportunities throughout the UK,” Freer added.
In 2019, the UK and South Korea agreed a free trade deal, which came ahead of Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Talks were held between then international trade secretary Liam Fox and South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee, which resulted in a deal that ensured that businesses can continue to trade with South Korea on preferential terms.
The agreement marked the first post-Brexit trade deal that the UK managed to secure in Asia.
The deal includes keeping zero-tarrifs on South Korean exports such as cars.