As the two countries upgrade the existing agreement to include digital trade, the Business and Trade Secretary will meet her Korean counterpart Bang Moon Kyu at the UK-Korea Business Forum at Mansion House in the City of London.
They will announce £21billion of investment committed by Korean businesses in green energy and infrastructure projects across the UK.
The funding will create more than 1,500 skilled jobs and drive innovation, the Government said.
The UK secured a free trade deal with South Korea in 2019, with the agreement largely aimed at keeping trade flowing post-Brexit and removing uncertainty. But British ministers want to secure modern, digital provisions in a new deal because most of its service exports to Korea are delivered digitally.
Kemi Badenoch (pictured on October 17 this year) will today launch talks to widen the free trade deal with South Korea to support British jobs
As the two countries upgrade the existing agreement to include digital trade, the Business and Trade Secretary will meet her Korean counterpart Bang Moon Kyu (pictured in July this year) at the UK-Korea Business Forum at Mansion House in the City of London
The Government said 7,000 businesses exporting goods to South Korea will benefit, as the new agreement is set to include support for smaller businesses by digitalising and simplifying customs procedures. Luxury car manufacturer Bentley and drinks giant Diageo are expected to announce more than £200million worth of contracts in the country this year.
And the UK will work to secure simple rules of origin to help businesses benefit from reduced or zero tariffs when exporting to the Asian giant. South Korea is the 13th largest economy in the world, and its import market is set to grow 45 per cent by 2035.
Mrs Badenoch said last night: ‘The Government is upgrading our trade deal with South Korea to ensure that our trading relationship plays to the UK’s strengths as an advanced, high-tech economy.
‘This refreshed, modernised deal will boost our world-leading services sector while also creating opportunities for UK exports such as in our world-leading food and luxury goods sectors.’
Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol began his state visit yesterday with a welcome from the King and Queen.
Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol began his state visit yesterday with a welcome from the King and Queen. Pictured: South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol and Britain’s King Charles III arrive in the ceremonial State Carriage at Buckingham Palace in London on Tuesday afternoon
Pictured: President of South Korea Yoon Suk Yeol listens as King Charles speaks at the state banquet at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday
Pictured: Queen Camilla, King Charles III, President of South Korea Yoon Suk Yeol and his wife Kim Keon Hee ahead of the event at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday
Pictured: Yoon Suk Yeol and King Charles during a toast at the event in London on Tuesday
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘The UK is leading the way in supporting our Korean friends in countering North Korea’s aggressive posturing and ensuring the safety and security of the Indo-Pacific.
‘Deepening the ties between the Royal Navy and Republic of Korea Navy, our bilateral defence relationship has never been stronger.’
Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron added: ‘This agreement – signed 70 years after the Korean War Armistice – is a truly unique step in the strengthening of our work to secure the security of the Korean Peninsula and the region.
‘We are proud, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, to be at the forefront of international sanctions enforcement activity. This includes upholding international commitments to curtail North Korea’s illegal weapons programmes.’
Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and sign a new long-term agreement covering defence and technology co-operation in Downing Street today. Pictured: PM Sunak with his wife Akshata Murty ahead of the State Banquet on Tuesday for the state visit to the UK by President of South Korea Yoon Suk Yeol
Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron is pictured arriving for the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday
A clean energy partnership will also be signed, bolstering collaboration on low-carbon technologies, civil nuclear, and policies to tackle climate change.
Downing Street said the accord will also see the countries work closer together on technology such as AI, semiconductors and quantum.
Science ministers will sign a memorandum of understanding to boost space cooperation.
South Korea will host next year’s AI summit after the first UK-backed gathering in Bletchley Park earlier this month.
The visit coincides with the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the UK and Korea.