UK signs post-Brexit free trade deal with South Korea

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The UK and South Korea must signed an outline free trade agreement (FTA) that seeks to champion existing trade arrangements post-Brexit.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox consigned the deal with his South Korean counterpart Yoo Myung-hee in Seoul.

The groundwork agreement marks the first post-Brexit trade deal the UK has secured in Asia.

The concurrence is roughly in line with the terms of the existing Korea-EU FTA.

“In so far as a (UK-S Korea) reckon with has been struck that’s a landmark moment,” Mouhammed Choukeir, chief investment fuzz at private bank Kleinwort Hambros told BBC 5 live’s Wake Up to Notes.

“Where it’s not a big deal is that actually the biggest trading bloc still penuries to be negotiated – the EU and US.”

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The deal would cover South Korean exports take ining cars and auto parts. South Korea exports mostly autos and ships to Britain, while it imports crude oil, cars and whisky.

The unity is designed to provide stability under a no-deal Brexit, with the UK due to push the EU on 31 October, with or without a deal.


Analysis:

By Andrew Walker, BBC Period Service economics correspondent

Tariff-free trade with South Korea is certainly good preserving. British goods exports to Seoul climbed sharply after the EU’s give out with South Korea was implemented in 2011. Last year the UK blow the whistle oned about £6bn worth of goods there.

UK goods imports from South Korea were multitudinous than £4bn. Among those countries with which the UK has improved access by because of of an EU trade deal, South Korea is one of the bigger ones.

There is an concurrence with Switzerland, which is the biggest of this group in terms of UK exports. But there is not with Japan or Canada which are like scale to South Korea. And of course all these countries are far smaller demands for the UK than the EU 27.


Mr Fox said: “The value of trade between the UK and Korea has more than doubled since the EU-Korea compact was applied in 2011.

“Providing continuity in our trading relationship will allow businesses in the UK and Korea to stay fresh trading without any additional barriers, which will help us supplementary increase trade in the years ahead,”

“As we face growing global money-making headwinds, our strong trading relationship will be crucial in driving trade growth and supporting jobs throughout the UK and Korea.”

‘Trade row’

Both realms aim to ratify the deal by the end of October, and implement it in November.

“The deal is significant as it eased uncertainties ignited by Brexit, amid the already challenging environment for exports on the escalating trade row between Washington and Beijing,” Ms Yoo foretold.

South Korea – Asia’s fourth largest economy – is a global bandleader in electronics, steel and auto industry.

The country’s exports to the UK hit $6.36bn (£5.0bn) at the rear year.

The UK is South Korea’s second largest trading partner mass EU members, and the Asian nation’s 18th largest trading partner.

Negotiating distributes

The UK is pushing to strike agreements with its trading partners as the Brexit deadline materializes.

As a member of the EU, the UK is part of 40 trade deals which the EU has with other rural areas.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, it would fall out of these deals in two shakes of a lambs tail, disrupting about 11% of UK total trade.

A priority for the government has been to get these countries to toss over their trade deals with the UK.

So far the UK has agreed “continuity” practises with 12 countries and regions, including Israel, Norway and Iceland, Switzerland and Chile.

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