International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has welcomed the “huge demand” for British goods and services in South Korea which has seen British exports surge by nine percent in the last year.
New figures show trade between the two nations has increased to £13 billion in the year to June 2021 with the UK exporting £2 billion more to South Korea than it imported.
South Korea is the tenth largest economy in the world and according to Ms Trevelyan, is a key part of the UK’s strategic plan to penetrate into the Indo-Pacific region and join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement (CPTPP).
The CPTPP is made up of 11 countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership which includes New Zealand and Australia as well as Canada, Japan and Singapore. The bloc includes some of the world’s biggest economies with a population of half a billion.
The British Trade Secretary said:
“As part of our Global Britain agenda – we are helping businesses capitalise on the huge demand for British goods and services in South Korea. 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.
“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.”
Ms Trevelyan credits British Government backed trade shows in South Korea which have helped UK businesses land deals worth more than £70 million in 2021.
British-made products ranging from “wind turbines and hydrogen fuel cells to lifejackets and PPE” will now be supplied to the South Korean market through deals made at DIT-supported events across the country.
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.”
Examples of British success stories in South Korea recently include green energy supplier Ceres Power who has partnered with Korea’s Doosan on a major long-term deal to build a 50 Megawatt factory to produce its cells – worth at least £43 million over three years.
British company Survitec has also just signed a £17 million contract to supply its products to Korea and Intelligent Energy, the UK fuel cell manufacturer has also recently signed a multimillion pound contract with South Korean partner Hogreen Air, and South Korea’s largest manufacturer of electric buses and trucks Edison Motors.
South Korea leads the world in the number of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road and is also increasing the number of hydrogen refuelling stations faster than any other country. With favourable policies supporting the use of hydrogen and fuel cells, South Korea is one of the most exciting locations to deploy fuel cell vehicles and a huge opportunity for the British company and future UK exports.
The UK is seizing the opportunities of being an independent trading nation with 70 free trade deals now signed and in place including the historic deal with Australia.