A new initiative has been launched by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to encourage businesses in Wales and the rest of the UK to unlock trade opportunities in South Korea.

Opportunity Korea is a programme of events aimed at promoting the opportunities for SMEs and offer advice on exporting to South Korea.

The initiative was launched at an event at Lancaster House in London, with speakers including business secretary, Vince Cable, trade and investment minister, Lord Green, and International Airlines group chief executive, Willie Walsh.

“South Korea is one of the world’s biggest economies and I have seen for myself the dynamic pace of growth there, and the significant potential for British business this presents,” said Vince Cable.

“Investment in infrastructure projects and other major economic opportunities mean it is vital for UK companies of all sizes to maximise their own potential to export to South Korea. The skills, innovation and expertise we have in the UK can put us at the forefront of trade with this growing and vibrant economy.”

As the 12th largest economy worldwide and the fourth largest in Asia, there is great potential for Welsh businesses of all sizes to do business in South Korea.

The introduction of the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement and high recognition of UK brands and products provides Welsh companies with numerous and varied opportunities for export.

“With UK forecasts continuing their low trajectory, businesses already exporting to emerging economies such as China, India and Mexico should look at increasing their activity to other regions,” said Stephanie Hyde, head of UK regional business at Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

“With strong industrial development and a growing, aspirational middle class, companies thinking of exporting to emerging economies like South Korea should be reassured that such markets can represent a significant opportunity to boost sales and increase profits.

“By having the right package of support and putting export at the heart of their strategy, businesses can succeed in reinvigorating their financial performance.”

Delegates attending Opportunity Korea events will be able to meet and hear from experts in doing business in South Korea.

Lord Green, trade and investment minister, added: “South Korea is set to make the 10th largest contribution to world growth over the next five years and will become one of the most attractive export destinations globally.”