The Republic of Korea (ROK, also known as South Korea) is home to some of the world’s largest and most diversified companies and is a dynamic and vibrant place to do business.
With a population of 51 million and a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of more than US$31,000, the ROK is the 11th largest economy in the world and the fourth largest in Asia
(Source: DFAT South Korea Factsheet 2019, IMF).
The ROK is Australia’s third largest export market, largely due to the county’s dependence on imported energy, resources and agriculture, and Australia’s fourth largest two-way trading partner. The level of investment between Australia and ROK has grown significantly over the past decade, from just A$600 million in 2003 to A$49 billion in 2018 (Source: DFAT South Korea Factsheet 2019).
Despite already being such a major market, there is untapped potential for Australian businesses in the ROK in other sectors. ROK consumers will continue to demand high quality food, beverage, consumer goods and education that Australia can provide.
Australian technology and services can help solve complex problems for its industry as it faces increasing competition from markets such as China and transitions from the sectors that have underpinned its growth to new areas such as medical technologies, hydrogen and fintech.
The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) which came into force on 12 December 2014 strengthens these opportunities by improving market access for Australian companies, creating new services opportunities, enhancing protection for Australian investors in the ROK and safeguarding Australia’s competitiveness in this large market.
More information on doing business in the Republic of Korea
Korean Startup Ecosystem
The Korean Startup Ecosystem Guide provides an overview of Korea’s startup ecosystem, including its key startup industries and vast network of accelerators and co-working locations.