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S. Korea vows stable trade ties with Britain

All News 06:00 January 21, 2020

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Tuesday it will prepare fully to maintain its trade with Britain amid London's planned departure from the world's largest economic bloc.

During a meeting with officials from the British Embassy in Seoul, Chun Yoon-jong, director general for free trade agreement policy at South Korea's trade ministry, said the two countries will continue their preferential ties on the back of their bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).

In 2019, South Korea and Britain signed an FTA that will be implemented in 2021 after a transition period for leaving the European Union that will run through the end of this year.

The FTA centers on maintaining the benefits enjoyed by the two countries under the South Korea-EU FTA, which went into effect in July 2011.

S. Korea vows stable trade ties with Britain - 1

South Korea has already revised customs-related regulations ahead of Brexit and is ready to implement the FTA with Britain without delay, the ministry said.

Seoul will continue to closely monitor updates in the relationship between Britain and the EU and carry out a close analysis of Brexit's impact on Asia's No. 4 economy, it added.

Before the end of the transition period, South Korean exporters will continue to enjoy benefits of the FTA signed with the EU when trading with the United Kingdom.

Britain is South Korea's 18th-largest trading partner, accounting for less than 2 percent of its overall trade.

Despite this small proportion, the ministry said the FTA is still significant as it lifts uncertainties stemming from Brexit for local exporters.

South Korea mainly exports automobiles, ships and marine facilities to Britain. In return, key import products from the European country include crude oil and pharmaceutical goods.

colin@yna.co.kr
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