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UKEF strengthens South Korean trade opportunities with boost to regional expertise


  • UKEF appoints its first International Export Finance Executive (IEFE) for South Korea
  • The IEFE will help to facilitate trade links between the two countries, with £4 billion of financing on offer
  • UKEF seeking to grow number of South Korean businesses looking to invest and trade with the UK, particularly within renewable energy and clean growth sectors


UK Export Finance (UKEF) today announces it has appointed its first International Export Finance Executive (IEFE) for South Korea. With £4 billion of funding on offer to buyers, provided they source 20% from the UK, the IEFE will work to facilitate major financing deals for Korean businesses who seek to build relationships with UK exporters.

The role will provide a dedicated, on-the-ground specialist within the British Embassy in Seoul, working closely with major UK government departments to showcase the expertise, capability and profile of UK businesses.

Coming as the UK and Korea mark 140 years of diplomatic relations and look to deepen ties, including in trade and investment, the appointment aims to strengthen existing trade relations and build on UKEF’s track record in the region, following three offshore wind projects it supported in Taiwan in recent years, including the £230 million Formosa 2 Project.

South Korea currently sits as the UK’s 18th largest export market, with £10.2 billion worth of exports sold to the country in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022.

UKEF CEO Tim Reid said:

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“We’re delighted to have a UKEF specialist in South Korea for the first time, as it signals the start of new opportunities for UK businesses to increase trade in the region, with government-backed finance. South Korea is a major export destination for us already and we’re glad to deepen our existing trade relationship.  Both countries stand to gain from the innovation and creativity that exists in the South Korean economy: by identifying projects that deliver on our mutual goals and ensuring that the UK supply chain is at the forefront. Our new International Export Finance Executive will ensure that the trade relationship between South Korea and the UK will continue to evolve and strengthen for the future.”


The appointment of an IEFE in Seoul is the latest development in UKEF’s drive to expand its global IEFE network, which will now total 7 representatives in Asia and a further 13 in key markets across the Americas, South Asia, Asia Pacific and Africa.

Tony Clemson, Country Director at the Department of Business and Trade said:

“I am delighted we have an IEFE joining our team.  This new expertise in export finance will add rocket fuel to our UK-Korea trade relationship.  UK businesses have significant capabilities in green technologies and can help accelerate the net zero transition in both Korea and third markets.”

The appointment is announced as preparations for negotiations for an enhanced Free Trade Agreement between the UK and South Korea are underway, setting the stage for a further strengthening of trade relations and closer cooperation between the two countries.


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