Trends following last year’s EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement are now clear: trade of autos and their components is up dramatically, but other industries deserve attention as well. The machinery and equipment industry contains immense potential for increased trade and investment between the countries, say Germany Trade & Invest experts, who will be at this year’s Seoul International Machine Tool Show (SIMTOS) from April 17 to 22 in the capital.
"Korea and Germany are natural partners because they are innovation leaders with specialized expertise. Both countries have large, stable markets," says Marko Kolbe, machinery industry expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin.
Germany's central EU-location and its state-of-the-art infrastructure have made a positive impression on Korean manufacturing companies, which have expressed increased interest in Europe's strongest economy. There are already more than 250 South Korean companies established in the Frankfurt region alone.
Germany and South Korea are powerhouse manufacturing nations, the third and seventh biggest producers in the world, respectively. Korean companies manufacture many goods in Germany to serve the German market and benefit from the well trained workforce.
"Manufacturing in Germany helps Korean companies reach customers across Europe quickly and efficiently and lends them the 'Made in Germany' seal of quality," continues Kolbe.
Although Germany imported less overall last year due to the Euro crisis, the trade and investment relationship between Korea and Germany remained positive. German exports to Korea increased by 13.7% between 2010 and 2011 and new FDI projects have grown significantly over the previous decade.