Kemi Badenoch has launched talks for a major trade deal with Asian economic powerhouse South Korea. The decision to join the growing Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership trade bloc was inspired by Britain joining. South Korean Senator Choi Seung Jae, chairperson of the GTNF trade conference in Seoul, told the BBC that Brexit has provided both countries with an exciting opportunity. But now there is an opportunity for us to build cultural ties with Britain in many areas, he said. The UK Government said it was continuing work to upgrade the free trade agreement which was rolled over from Britain's EU membership. The sources said they consulted with businesses on their prioritizations. Our current deal was a rollover from the EU, upgrading the FTA could boost economic prospects across things like digital trade, services, support to SMEs. The UK and South Korea have recently signed an agreement to enhance supply chain resilience following the global chip shortage and other supply chain issues caused by COVID-19.
The agreement and ministerial dialogue will keep the flow of key products between UK and South Korea smooth. The new deal is a boost to trade between the two nations, which would be worth about £17.1bn a year, the source close to Ms Badenoch said. The UK's exports made up £9.4billion in exports. Despite the global economic downturn, South Korea, which has one of the most dynamic economies in Asia with growth of 2.9 percent, is the UK's 23rd largest trading partner. But with a market share of 1.6 percent, there is a feeling that the UK has a chance to expand its market significantly. The UK's top five exports to South Korea are crude oil, cars, pharmaceutical products, mechanical generators and clothing.
Tory Windsor MP Adam Afriyie, who was also at the conference, said opportunities presented by countries like South Korea were what Brexit was about. I've always believed in the United Kingdom and I've always had confidence in the United Kingdom, he said. We've always had a history of connections across the globe, and I think that during our period in the European Union, we almost closed their eyes to the rest of the world. He went on:'s high tech, and is enviable in many ways. s exactly the type of nation that the United Kingdom needs to be forging trading relationships with, and thankfully, if they're joining CPTPP, then we're in the same boat, and all facing in the right direction. He added that he agreed with South Korean senators on cultural ties as well as trade. It is not just the value of trade between the nations but also the diplomatic relationships with those countries, with those trading connections. We're connecting to the rest of the world, he said. While the EU is contracting for ten years, we're increasing our trade reach. My experience of walking through the streets of Seoul is that it is a neat and orderly place. It's very conservative with a small C, and I think there's a natural connection between our peoples.