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Korean Market

The economic development of South Korea is matched by few nations in the world. The Korean War left Korea devastated and divided. Nevertheless, South Korea has succeeded in building one of the most dynamic economies in the world. Confucian focus on education, discipline and hard work, and close relations between the public and business sector, has helped Korea develop from one of the poorest to one of the richest nations in the world in a matter of a few decades. South Korea has grown to become the 4th largest economy in Asia, and the 13th largest economy in the world.

An export-driven economy

The Korean economy is highly export-driven and based on a great deal of coordination between the public and business sector. The South Korean economy features a number of industrial conglomerates, the so-called ‘chaebols’, which constitute the backbone of the export economy and includes global giants like Hyundai, Samsung, LG, Daewoo etc. that are global industry leaders in mobile phone technology, consumer electronics, as well as the shipyard and automotive industries to name a few. 

Current trade relations between Korea and Denmark

Bilateral trade between Denmark and Korea has grown considerably since the early 1980’s. Today, Korea is the nineteenth largest market for Danish exports. Between 2021 and 2022 total exports from Denmark to RoK increased by 19,7%.

In 2022, the largest Danish group of goods exported to Korea were medicinal and pharmaceutical products, machineries, engines and similar industrial goods, as well as chemical materials and products. Together, these three groups of goods make up ~42,9% of Denmark's total export volume to South Korea. Denmark also exports a considerable amount of services to Korea due to Danish shipping companies playing an important role in the export-driven Korean economy.


The EU-Korea FTA

The implementation of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) starting July 2011, which is the most ambitious FTA negotiated by the EU with a third country, ensures an unprecedented level of access to the Korean market across the board for Danish exporters.

Read more here.


Sustainable energy, energy-efficiency and construction

Since President Lee initiated the green growth agenda, South Korea has been determined to achieve greater energy efficiency and decouple economic growth from expensive imported energy. To a large degree, the Korean green growth agenda defines the overall framework conditions of the Korean business sector and create new opportunities of particular interest to Danish exporters specialising in sustainable energy and energy efficiency. Sustainable construction, know-how and solutions may well go hand-in-hand with other commercial opportunities within architecture, city planning and urban development promising greater ‘quality of life’.


Korea is maintaining its competitive edge by ambitiously focusing on innovation within selected sectors that are complementary to areas of excellence within the Danish business community. These include electronics, biotechnology and new and renewable energy sectors, where opportunities for bilateral trade, investment and innovation cooperation are evident.


Relevant links for Danish companies