See More on Facebook

Business, Diplomacy

Brexit deal refusal to have limited impact on Korean economy

Seoul vows to speed up efforts for Korea-Britain bilateral trade deal, bracing for post-Brexit era.


Written by

Updated: January 17, 2019

The British parliament’s latest rejection of the government’s proposed Brexit deal is likely to have a limited impact on global financial markets as well as the South Korean economy, Seoul’s government said Wednesday.

Vowing pre-emptive steps to counter a possible fallout, Korean authorities will work on preparations for a bilateral free trade deal with Britain, as the latter will no longer be subject to the Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement upon Brexit.

“The vote to reject the Brexit deal was seen to have a limited impact on global financial markets as the result of the vote had widely been anticipated,” said Lee Ho-seung, first vice minister of economy and finance, at a meeting of related government officials.

“We shall nevertheless take all necessary steps in a quick and decisive manner in case of volatility.”

The limited impact could also be attributed the relatively small volume of direct trade between the two countries, the senior official added.

Korea’s exports of goods to Britain stood at $5.4 billion as of end-November last year, while imports totaled $6.2 billion. As of the end of 2017, the total trading volume peaked at $14.4 billion, accounting for about 12 percent of Korea’s trade with the EU.

Seeking to minimize the impact of Brexit on Seoul’s economy, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said it will lay the groundwork for talks with Britain for a bilateral trade pact.

While the ministry works on drafting the deal, the state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency and the Korea International Trade Association are to help local exporters adjust to the post-Brexit trade environment, officials said.

The central bank also vowed to keep close watch on financial markets in case of increased volatility.

Despite its limited direct impact on the market, “the British parliamentary decision has boosted the uncertainty level of the future Brexit scenario,” said Yoon Myun-shik, senior deputy governor of the Bank of Korea.

“Should the current situation develop further, financial markets here and abroad may experience higher volatility, so we will closely watch the developments.”

On Tuesday, British lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed separation deal with the EU, with 432 votes against the government and 202 in support. The result, which delivered a heavy blow to the reeling May administration, came after more than two years of political brawl on how Britain should depart from the EU.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Business, Diplomacy

Taiwan expresses regret over sentencing of H.K. democracy activists

The activists were sentenced to prison for organizing and participating in pro-democracy protests. Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) expressed regret yesterday after a court in Hong Kong handed down prison sentences of up to 16 months earlier that day on nine leaders of pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014. In a statement, the MAC, Taiwan’s top China policy-making body, said that the court ruling proved China’s “one country, two systems” mechanism does not respect and guarantee people’s political rights. It also called on the parties concerned to adhere to their commitment to the “one country, two systems” policy of governing Hong Kong and the promise to grant Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy as enshrined in the Basic Law. That is the only way to observe the rule of law and maintain Hong Kong’s prosperous development, the MAC said. A Hong Kong court handed down s


By Asia News Network
April 26, 2019

Business, Diplomacy

S. Korean leader hopeful about 3rd Trump-Kim summit

Moon Jae-in meets with Asia News Network editors, says he is ready to facilitate next Trump – Kim summit. South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday expressed confidence that an agreement to denuclearize the Koren Peninsula can still be achieved in a third summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung-un. Moon told senior editors and executives of the Asia News Network (ANN)  that his government is ready to facilitate the next meeting between the US and North Korean leaders after the second summit in Hanoi in February ended without any agreement on nuclear disarmament and easing tensions in the Korean peninsula. Moon also told the ANN that the question of inviting the North Korean leader to the 30th Asean-Korean anniversary summit in November this year will have to be discussed with the me


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
April 26, 2019

Business, Diplomacy

Putin calls for six-way talks for North Korea’s denuclearization

Putin calls for a return to six party talks, reestablishing China and Russia’s role in denuclearize talks. Russian President Vladimir Putin called Thursday for the resumption of six-way talks on North Korea’s denuclearization to move stalled negotiations forward. “If South Korea and the US can offer sufficient measures for (North Korea’s security) guarantee, the six-party talks may not be operated. But the guarantee mechanism from the South and the US does not seem to be sufficient,” he said. He was speaking at a press conference after a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for the first time at Far Eastern Federal University in Russia’s Pacific port city Vladivostok.


By The Korea Herald
April 26, 2019

Business, Diplomacy

North Korea leader arrives in Russia ahead of Putin summit

Kim and Putin are due to meet today. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday arrived in Vladivostok, Russia, a day ahead of his first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kim set out for Russia via his private train in the early hours of Wednesday and arrived in the Russian border city of Khasan at about 10:40 a.m., before moving on to Vladivostok, where he arrived some six hours later. In an interview with Russian media after a welcome ceremony in Khasan, Kim hinted at strengthening cooperation with Moscow in regional security issues. “I believe (the summit) will be an opportunity for very beneficial conversation in jointly managing and controlling regional issues,” Kim said in the interview.


By The Korea Herald
April 25, 2019

Business, Diplomacy

China showcases carrier strike group capabilities at fleet review

China has flexed its muscles before in the South China Sea. China displayed its military development toward assembling its version of a carrier strike group during a naval parade in Qingdao, China, on Tuesday. The international fleet review marking the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Liberation Army Navy showcased Chinese naval vessels such as China’s own aircraft carrier and state-of-the-art destroyers. It is certain that the Chinese navy, which aims to exclude the U.S. military from the western Pacific Ocean to gain maritime hegemony, will increase provocative maritime maneuvers with its aircraft carrier Besides China, Japan was one of the 13 countries participating in the naval review. The crew members and others on these countries’ vessels saluted Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also heads the PLA, standing on the deck of a Chinese d


By The Japan News
April 25, 2019

Business, Diplomacy

Iran sanctions alarm Korean petrochemical sector

Korea, major player in crude oil market, seeking alternative countries would drive up costs. As the US is set to end sanction exemptions for countries buying oil from Iran, South Korean petrochemical companies are anticipated to struggle in having to reduce their Iranian oil supplies. From May 2, eight nations, including Korea, Japan, China and India, will be banned from buying oil from Iran as the US government’s 180-day waiver ends. Iran is the fifth-largest exporter of crude oil to Korea, following Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the US and Iraq. Imports of crude oil from Iran to Korea accounted for 8.6 percent of total imported crude oil in February, according to Korea National Oil Corp. “We were a bit shocked. We didn’t expect a complete ban. Every company (affected) will be busy securing condensate, which is not abundant in the market,” said an anonymous official of a local firm in the petroc


By The Korea Herald
April 24, 2019