South Korea and the United Kingdom have reached a deal in principle on a free trade agreement...
in preparation for a possible "no deal" Brexit.
This means Korean companies will be shielded from tariffs that otherwise might come back
into force when Britain leaves the EU.
Ko Roon-hee has the details.
South Korea's trade ministry has reached an 'emergency bridge' trade agreement with the
UK to maintain their deal even if 'no-deal' Brexit becomes a reality.
This means that, even if the UK leaves the European Union without agreements in place
about what their relationship would be like in future, South Korean companies will be
able to ship their main export items, such as industrial products, without tariffs under
the Korea-EU FTA, which took effect in 2011.
As for the rough timeline, if the UK crashes out of the union on October 31st, the new
FTA is expected to take effect the next day...after the National Assembly's ratification.
This agreement was reached during a meeting in Seoul on Monday between South Korea's trade
minister Yoo Myung-hee and her British counterpart Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International
Trade in the UK.
Currently, South Korea mainly exports cars and ships to the UK.
According to the Korea International Trade Association, South Korea's trade volume with
the U.K. from January to April this year marked around 3-point-8 billion U.S. dollars.
During this period, the UK was South Korea's 19th largest trading partner.
Minister Yoo said the move will protect South Korea from uncertainties in advance of Brexit
amid worsening export conditions due to the Washington-Beijing trade war and China's slowing
Seoul's trade ministry is preparing for other scenarios as well...including possible delays
in the Brexit decision.
South Korea and the UK also vowed to cooperate in emerging sectors, including energy.
Ko Roon-hee, Arirang News.