Focusing on international commerce, import as export, South Korea has profiled itself as one of the most developed and susceptible countries for international trade in Asia. South Korea signed free trade agreements covering the majority of the world, including the EU and Sweden. The free trade agreement with the EU entered into force in 2011 and since then many customs and trade barriers disappeared and in a near future almost all barriers will be gone, making it easier to establish a business and conducting business in South Korea. Recent developments helped strengthening Swedish export to the country.
Today, South Korea is Sweden’s fourth largest export market in Asia. In comparison to other countries, Swedish exports are relatively low and there are great potential for investment. From an industry perspective South Korea is in the forefront in many areas where Swedish companies are competitive and there are possibilities of international alliances and growing trade between our countries. In 2014 Sweden exported in total EUR 960 million, an increase with six percent since 2013.
Business Sweden has been active in South Korea since 1997 and actively support and market Swedish companies in the country. The local presence has generated a deep understanding and expertise in regards to the South Korean marketplace as well as a vast network of contacts. Today we are 12 people working in the office in central Seoul. The purpose is to facilitate growth for Swedish companies and to attract investments from South Korea to Sweden.
The size and level of development of the South Korean market makes it very attractive for Swedish industry in a range of sectors. We have noticed a wave of investments both in the public and private sector which provides opportunities for Swedish businesses and thus identified a few key sectors, including manufacturing, design, fashion, cleantech, healthcare and medicine technology as well as IT/telecoms, ship construction and offshore.
Business Sweden in Seoul has a local presence and support Swedish companies in all stages of the internationalisation process. Common services offered are partner search, market analysis, sales support, incorporation and recruitment. Every year we arrange industry-specific export promoting activities in order to emphasise Sweden and Swedish companies in a South Korean context.