What the UK and South Korea trade deal will mean for British businesses

Apr 03, 2020
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What the UK and South Korea trade deal will mean for British businesses

Last year, the British government secured a trade deal with South Korea that will protect exports and imports to and from the country, trade that was worth £14.6 billion in 2018. But what does the trade deal mean for British businesses?

In short, the deal struck between the two countries prevents tariffs and other trade barriers from being implemented, which would have the effect of making British products in South Korea more expensive, thus making them less competitive against local brands.

British businesses will, therefore, still be able to rely on electronics, steel, and cars, that account for the majority of South Korea’s exports, without concerns over increasing costs or restrictions.

South Korea’s top imports from the UK include crude oil, cars, ceramics, and whiskey. British businesses operating within these industries can be reassured that they won’t lose a key trading market.

While the UK operated as part of the EU, it was required to abide by European trade deals. In leaving the European Economic Area (EEA), the country now has to negotiate its trade deals with countries around the world. Securing deals that are free of restrictive trade barriers and crippling tariffs is vital to facilitating continued prosperous trade for British businesses.

The trade deal between the UK and South Korea assures British businesses who trade in the key industries that export goods to South Korea a future of trade without barriers, those that could have a detrimental impact on the advantageous positions they have secured.

Drinks companies, those exporting whiskey, in particular, have voiced their enthusiasm over the deal. With Scotch whiskey brands exporting roughly £70 million in goods to South Korea each year, British businesses in this industry are relieved to be confident in the future of trade in this region. With the deal, the prospect of reintroducing tariffs diminishes, and British whiskey producers can continue to increase their global reach and revenues.

British businesses that are operating in any industry that exports or intends to export to South Korea can be confident they will get their product into the country without complex requirements, tariffs, and trade barriers. This ensures that British products in South Korea can remain competitive with local brands, helping British businesses to grow and thrive in the region.

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