The UK is set to sign an enhanced trade deal with South Korea following a “bumper year of trade”.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the new agreement would increase collaboration and cut red tape in areas such as digital, clean energy, and starting up a business.

According to the latest statistics, trade between the UK and South Korea totalled £13.3 billion in the year to September 2021 – up 11 per cent compared to 2020. It comes after a surge in popularity of Korean consumer products, such as electronics, and cultural exports, such as K-pop and the Netflix hit Squid Game.

During the same period, UK exports to South Korea – a top 10 economy – increased by 12 per cent as sales of British cars, whisky and crude oil grew. The UK has also become a “top destination” for South Korea green investment.

But the new enhanced trade deal – described as the first UK agreement of its kind with an Asia-Pacific partner – will offer British businesses even more export and investment opportunities.

Commenting on the plans, International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “This is our Indo-Pacific tilt in action – strengthening ties with one of the largest economies in the world.

“From offshore wind to hydrogen, 2021 saw many examples of the growing collaboration between our two nations – particularly on clean growth.

“I’m excited to build on our existing trade agreement, going even further in areas like technology and services.”

Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech Nation, added: “There is high demand in South Korea for cutting-edge technologies – especially those in which the UK is world-leading. Building an even stronger trading relationship with South Korea will further connect our thriving innovation ecosystems.”

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