South Korea is a major player in the global industrial solutions industry, largely due to its strength in a number associated sectors such as oil and gas, mechanical engineering, metals and materials to construction, power and shipbuilding. Of these, it is in the shipbuilding and steel industry, that South Korea is one the biggest global players. With an average Compensated Gross Tonnage of 13.1m from 2011 to 2015 from shipping, and 71.5m tonnes of steel produced in 2014 with a global market share of 4.3% in 2014, South Korean companies and their respective value chains, are strong possible partners and customers for overseas exporters.
Impact of the EU-Korea FTA
Implemented in July 2011, the EU-Korea FTA has positively affected the industrial aspects of bilateral trade, resulting in removal of almost all tariffs and import levies on industrial-related items and components. The FTA contains provisions on services, public procurement, intellectual property (IP) and sustainable development as well as the liberalization of goods tariffs. The FTA has ushered in enhanced protection for IP rights and improved copyright regulations.