What opportunities are there for my business in South Korea?

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October 2015

South Korea’s rapid historical industrialisation and high income economy have created strong demand for imports in a range of key industries, which Australia is well-placed to provide.


  • South Korea has few natural resources of its own and imports a significant proportion of its resources
  • Australia provides a high volume of raw materials to South Korea
  • Coal, iron ore and crude petroleum are Australia’s key mining exports to South Korea


  • Australia is the third biggest supplier to Korea for agriculture and food-related products
  • South Korea is an important market for Australian beef – exports were valued at A$942 million in 2014
  • The free trade agreement now in force between Australia and South Korea is expected to further open up opportunities for beef, dairy, fruit, vegetables, sugar and wheat 


  • Service exports to Korea were worth A$1.4 billion in 2014
  • Education is a major services export market – South Korea is Australia's third largest source of foreign student enrolments after China and India
  • Tourism is another key export market – South Korea is Australia’s ninth largest source of visitor arrivals, although this has flattened out in recent years

68 per cent of respondents [looking at South Korea as an export market] cite the strong growth prospects in South Korea as the main factor leading to them targeting this country - Australian International Business Survey 2015.