The International Trade Council is pleased to announce that the United Kingdom has signed a preliminary free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea, the first post-Brexit trade deal secured by the UK in Asia. The agreement seeks to maintain existing trade arrangements and provide stability under a no-deal Brexit scenario.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and his South Korean counterpart Yoo Myung-hee signed the deal in Seoul, with both countries aiming to ratify the agreement by the end of October and implement it in November. This FTA is roughly in line with the terms of the existing Korea-EU FTA and covers South Korean exports such as cars and auto parts.
The International Trade Council recognizes the importance of preserving tariff-free trade with South Korea, which has seen UK goods exports to Seoul increase sharply since the EU's deal with South Korea was implemented in 2011. Last year, the UK sold around £6bn worth of goods to South Korea, while UK imports from the country exceeded £4bn.
The Council commends the UK's efforts to strike agreements with its trading partners as the Brexit deadline approaches, ensuring that businesses in both the UK and South Korea can continue trading without additional barriers. This strong trading relationship will be crucial for driving economic growth and supporting jobs in both countries, particularly in light of the global economic challenges currently faced.