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Project International Trade's Virtual Toolkit to Asia​

South Korea

Why South Korea?

The economy of South Korea is a highly developed mixed economy dominated by family-owned conglomerates called chaebols. Not only is the local economy very prosperous, foreign investment, is encouraged.

South Korea has adapted an export-oriented economic strategy to fuel its economy, and in 2019, South Korea was the eighth largest exporter and eighth largest importer in the world. Based on nominal GDP, it has the fourth largest economy in Asia and the tenth largest in the world. It is included in the group of Next Eleven countries (Goldman’s Analysis) as having the potential to play a dominant role in the global economy by the middle of the 21st century.

The Bank of Korea (BOK) and the Korea Development Institute periodically release major economic indicators and economic trends of the economy of South Korea financial organizations, like the World Bank, describe South Korea as one of the fastest-growing major economies of the next generation.

South Korea today has developed into one of the world’s largest automobile producers. Electronics is also one of South Korea’s main industries. Korea’s largest construction companies include Samsung C&T Corporation, who built some of the world’s tallest buildings: Petronas Towers, Taipei 101, and Burj Khalifa

The retail payment systems is managed by Korea Financial Telecommunications & Clearings Institute. Retail payment systems which are run by non-financial institutions such as telecommunication companies have recently been introduced.

South Korea is a ‘credit card nation’, and Korean local card companies have been offering customers innovative products and attractive benefits. However, mobile and digital wallets are quickly catching up among younger generations. E-commerce has grown just over 30% in the last two years with credit cards continuing to be the payment method of choice online and at the point of sale.

Useful contacts

Sungji Moon

Manager | Trade & Policy

British Chamber of Commerce in Korea Address: 13th Floor, The-K Twin Towers, B-dong, 50, Jong-ro 1-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea 03142

Tel: (+82) 2-6365-2304

Mobile: (+82) 10-9897-6259

Email: sungji.moon@bcck.or.kr


Jiyoung Lee (Ms)

Trade Manager

Department for International Trade | British Embassy Seoul 

Address: Sejong-daero 19-gil 24, Seoul 04519, South Korea

Tel: +82 (0)2 3210 5629

Mobile: +82 (0)10 3151 5629

Email: jiyoung.lee@fco.gov.uk