South Korea

South Korea is the world’s 13th largest economy and eighth largest trading nation. As British Columbia’s number four trading partner, South Korea enjoys good relations with our province. Coal, copper, aluminum and wood products are among key exports to Korea.
As a technology-intensive economy, South Korea presents good export opportunities for British Columbia companies. There are also significant markets for liquefied natural gas (LNG), transportation, education and the technology industries – especially digital media, information and communications technology, clean technology and renewable energy.

The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), which came into force early in 2015, covers virtually all aspects of Canada-South Korean trade, including trade in goods and services, investment, government procurement, non-tariff barriers, environment and labour cooperation, and other areas of economic activity. Tariff reduction or elimination will provide a competitive advantage and create opportunities for B.C. companies in the South Korean market across a wide range of industry sectors.

Learn more about CKFTA.

Key Sector Opportunities for Exporters



Due to its small size and lack of mature forests, South Korea is highly dependent on wood product imports. Interest in these products is strengthened by environmental concerns and South Korea’s move toward increased use of renewable energy. As a result, British Columbia is in a good position to increase sales of lumber products, pulp and paper and wood pellets to South Korea.

Learn more about export opportunities for our forestry sector.



With few reserves of its own, South Korea relies on imported energy, metals and other mining commodities. All of South Korea’s petroleum, bituminous coal, uranium and copper are imported, along with 99 per cent of iron. British Columbia already enjoys strong sales to South Korea and anticipates increased growth as the economy continues to expand.

Learn more about export opportunities for our mining sector.


Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

South Korea is the world’s second-largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and is expected to increase demand steadily over the coming years. It is also is interested in finding new natural gas suppliers, beyond the South East Asian countries from which it has imported in the past. This puts British Columbia in a strong position to significantly increase LNG sales to South Korea.

Learn more about export opportunities for our LNG sector.



British Columbia’s engineering, construction and related service companies have opportunities to enter the South Korean market to sell transportation technologies, solutions, services and products. In addition, our vibrant aerospace and marine manufacturing and maintenance industries are well positioned to market their products and services to the South Korean market.

Learn more about export opportunities for our transportation sector.


International Education

South Korea’s population is well educated, well-travelled and has a strong global orientation. There is good potential to increase the number of students and especially to expand the availability of the British Columbia education curriculum at schools operating in South Korea.

Learn more about export opportunities for our international education sector.



As a major consumer of high technology goods and services, South Korea has a high interest in renewable energy and clean technology, information and communications technology and creative industries, life sciences, marine and advanced manufacturing. British Columbia’s technology sector can help meet those needs. 

Learn more about export opportunities for our technology sector.


Many South Koreans have developed a taste for western-style food products that are not ordinarily part of the Korean diet, such as cheese and wine. British Columbia’s agrifoods producers can help feed this demand. There is also strong interest in our beef, seafood and berries.

Learn more about export opportunities for our agrifoods sector.


Trade Agreements

Read about eliminating barriers to trade for information on trade agreements with South Korea:

Eliminating Barriers to Trade.