South Korea wants free trade pact with Britain after Brexit
Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se told lawmakers during a session of the parliamentary foreign affairs and unification committee that his ministry, in coordination with the trade ministry, will draw up "various measures," including a South Korea-Britain free trade agreement, after Britons opted to leave the EU in a landmark referendum Thursday.
"Some experts at home say that the risks (posed by Brexit) are relatively low for us, because the share of our trade with Britain is not large compared to our trade with the U.S.," he said in response to a lawmaker's remark that South Korea should quickly sign a bilateral free trade pact with Britain.
Yun acknowledged, however, that South Korea is not immune to an issue with global repercussions and will carry out a detailed study of its impact over the two years it will take to finalize Britain's departure from the EU.
"We will decide what to do after carrying out an in-depth analysis through talks with the EU or relevant organizations," he said.
South Korea and the EU have a free trade agreement that went into effect in 2011. Last year, bilateral trade stood at US$105.3 billion. ■