As the fourth largest economy in Asia and with a population of over 50 million people, Korea's increasing demand for high-quality goods and services has provided export opportunities across a range of Victoria's market sectors.
Since the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) came into force in 2014, significant trade and export barriers have been removed improving access to the Korean marketplace.
Opportunities for Victorians looking to do business with Korea
Food & fibre
Victoria's global reputation as suppliers of premium quality, clean and healthy food – together with advantages in supply chain management – provides substantial export opportunities for Victorian agribusiness to meet Korea's increasing demand for high-quality beef and lamb, dairy, horticulture and healthy functional foods.
Melbourne is recognised globally as a welcoming, cosmopolitan city and our world-class educational institutions are competitively placed to meet the demands of Korean students seeking to study here. Student numbers have been growing steadily with over 5,700 Koreans students enrolled in Victoria to December 2017.
With an increasing number of Korean tourists visiting each year, a significant customer base is provided for Victoria's tourism and hospitality businesses.
In 2017, visitor numbers from Korea grew for the fourth consecutive year reaching over 58,000 .
Medtech, pharma & healthcare
Korea's ageing population is generating an increased need for services and products in the health and aged care sectors.
Export opportunities have emerged for Victoria's pharmaceutical, biotechnology and healthcare businesses specialising in innovative medical technologies, research and development, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and aged care.
Korea’s ageing population is also driving changes in Korea’s financial service industry as Korean asset managers look to grow and diversify their assets portfolios.
FinTech is another area which is showing strong growth. Victoria’s strengths in both these areas provide opportunities for greater trade and investment.
Korea’s beauty and personal care industry, estimated to be valued at USD12.6 billion1 is also creating opportunities for Victorian companies.
In 2017, perfumery and cosmetics represented Victoria’s ninth largest merchandise exports to Korea2.
- Beauty and Personal Care in South Korea, Euromonitor International, May 2018
- Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017
Demand for innovative software technologies has increased in Korea as it transitions to a knowledge-based economy.
Victoria's leading digital technology sector is strongly placed to provide Korea with digital and software solutions such as smart infrastructure, cloud and mobility computing, security, smart grids and smart cities.
- Korea is Victoria's eighth largest merchandise trading partner.1
- There were over 52,000 Korean visitors to Victoria in 2016.2
- 4700 international students from Korea studied in Victoria in 2015.3
- The Republic of Korea is the 11th largest national economy in the world.4.
- DFAT STARS Database, based on ABS Cat No 5368.0, June 2016 data
- Tourism Victoria Research Unit, August 2016
- Department of Education and Training, 2016
- International Monetary Fund 2016
Discover how your business can export to Korea
- Our Go Global export-readinesss self-assessment tool will identify your business's gaps in capabilities and recommend next steps to bridge those gaps. Whether you're seeking to enter new markets, or expand into existing markets, Go Global will show you how to get there.
- Asialink Business' Republic of Korea Country Starter Pack provides a comprehensive guide to doing business in the Republic of Korea.
- The Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) office located in Seoul provides tailored market intelligence, insights and guidance for your export business. Seoul's VGTI office can also connect you with overseas buyers and industry partners in Korea.
- Austrade's Republic of Korea Market Profile provides further detail and facts about the Korean market.
- The Victorian Government provides support through a range of grants, vouchers and assistance programs.
- The International Chamber House (ICH) in Melbourne's city centre is a business networking hub for international bilateral chambers and business associations. It provides members access to meeting rooms with video-conferencing, flexible workspaces, and a function space for international business development events
- Visit our regional insights page to read seasonal updates from our Regional Specialists.