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UK Trade Minister Ian McCartney Visits Seoul
The British Minister of State for Trade, Ian McCartney

The British Minister of State for Trade, the Right Honourable Ian McCartney MP will arrive in Korea on Wednesday 19 July for a two-day visit aiming to further strengthen the trade and investment links which have become a hallmark of the UK-Korean relationship.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (the UK's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade) Minister is responsible for trade and investment links, the East Asia region and major global issues including human rights and climate change.

This will be his first visit to the East-Asian region since taking up his post in May. Meetings will be held with Ban Ki-Moon, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Governor Yoon of the Financial Supervisory Service, Lee Won-jul, Vice Minister for Energy and other key political figures.

The visit provides an opportunity for the Minister to learn more about the growing commercial and investment links between our two countries, which have lead to bilateral trade in excess of £4.6 billion per annum.

UK exports to Korea rose by 20% last year and a growing number of Korean companies are using the UK as a base for expanding into the lucrative markets of the EU. The programme includes meetings with Heads of British businesses active in Korea, the Financial Supervisory Service and representatives of the Korean Investment Corporation, and a timely discussion on the benefits and challenges of free trade.

A visit to the rapidly developing $1.2 billion second Incheon bridge will also be on the agenda as the Minister meets representatives from AMEC Korea – the British construction company responsible for project managing the massive investment which will be one of the world's longest spanning cable stayed bridges.

In addition to the trade and investment focus, the visit will also see the Minister meeting senior Korean politicians including Ban Ki-Moon, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. As major foreign policy partners, the UK and Korea are increasingly collaborating together on the global stage. The two nations are both key coalition partners in Iraq (the 2nd and 3rd largest contributors of troops respectively) and in Afghanistan.

Who Is MP Ian McCartney?

Mr Ian McCartney, Member of Parliament for Makerfied since 1987, was appointed Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs in May 2006.

Mr McCartney was previously Minister without Portfolio and Party Chair (2003 – 2006); Minister of State for Pensions at the Department for Work and Pensions (2001-2003); Minister of State for the Cabinet Office (1999-2001) and Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) (1997-1999).

Prior to that, Mr McCartney held a number of positions in Opposition - spokesperson on Health, Employment, Education and Social Services.

Trade and Investment facts

UK investment in Korea is in excess of £6 billion in a wide range of sectors, including financial services, retail, energy, chemicals, construction and engineering. Significant British presences in Korea include: AMEC, BAe Systems, BOC, Body Shop, BP, Burberry, Diageo, GlaxoSmithKlein, HSBC, PCA (Prudential), Rolls Royce, Shell, Standard Chartered and Tesco. , Standard Chartered and Tesco are the largest UK investors at around £1.5-1.7 billion each. Tens of thousands of jobs have been created in Korea thanks to UK investment (8,000 through Tesco's investment alone).

The UK is the second largest recipient of foreign direct investment, after the US, and remains the number one location for Korean investment within Europe, with over 130 companies having established a presence in the UK. During the period 2005/6 the UK attracted 13 new Korean investments into the UK.

Science and technology (S&T) links are increasingly an important aspect of the UK-Korean relationship. In 2005 the UK-Korea Science, Technology and Innovation Partnership (STIP) was launched. A "Korea Day" was held at the Royal Society in September 2005 under the STIP umbrella with the aim of raising the Korean S&T profile in the UK. Sir David King and over 110 guests attended the event in London.

Political Facts

The UK is the second largest contributor of troops to the Coalition forces in Iraq (7200 troops). South Korea is the third largest contributor (approximately 3290 troops).

The UK and Korea are both amongst the 36 countries contributing to the NATO lead International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The UK currently has around 5000 service personnel stationed in Afghanistan – Korea has 205 service personnel.






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