Economy

Britain agrees on Brexit trade deal with S. Korea

Britain agrees on Brexit trade deal with S. Korea

Seoul and London agreed to adopt an existing free trade agreement between Korea and the EU, South Korea's trade ministry said in a statement.

The agreement, which would cover South Korean exports such as cars and auto parts, still needed to go through final checks before being signed.

The UK is South Korea's second largest trading partner among European Union members.

Liam Fox, the global trade secretary, signed the preliminary agreement with Yoo Myung-hee, the minister of trade, in Seoul today.

South Korea and Britain reached an agreement on Monday to maintain their current free trade agreement even after the "no deal" Brexit, with Seoul becoming a major non-EU member economy to seal such a deal as it braces for the fallout from the divorce.

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"Providing continuity in our trading relationship will allow businesses in the United Kingdom and Korea to keep trading without any additional barriers, which will help us further increase trade in the years ahead".

Fox said he expects the agreement to lay the foundations for further expanding trade between the two countries.

"This means that whatever happens with #Brexit, there will be total continuity in trade between our two countries AND the basis for an ambitious future FTA [free-trade area] when we leave the EU", Fox tweeted.

Strikingly, the EU-Japan FTA, which entered force this February, is not included in the list. South Korea exports mostly cars and ships to Britain, while it imports crude oil and cars.

The South Korea-EU FTA took three years to negotiate, was signed in 2010 and entered implementation in 2011. The trade ministry has confirmed that this trade agreement will be presented to the Parliament and ratified before the October 31 deadline for Brexit.


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