The Korean petrochemical industry has accomplished tremendous development, supporting high economic growth of the country. Korea has turned to be one of the prominent producers in the world petrochemical industry, positioning the world 5th biggest country, with overall annual ethylene capacity of 7.6million tonnes and various accompanying downstream plants.
Chemicals Sector in South Korea
With the Korea-EU FTA, it is expected that imports of advanced chemical products and materials is expected
The Korean petrochemical industry has accomplished tremendous development, supporting high
economic growth of the country. Korea has turned to be one of the prominent producers in the
world petrochemical industry, positioning the world 5th biggest country, with overall annual
ethylene capacity of 7.6million tonnes and various accompanying downstream plants.
Fine chemicals are seen as the research sensitive part of the chemical industry. The industry
focuses on developing chemical compounds to be used in other sectors, using by products from
the petrochemical sector. Other sectors include electronics, information, automobiles,
shipbuilding, textile, medicine, environment and energy.
There are three chemical complexes in Korea - Ulsan, Yeosu and Daesan. Major chemical and
petrochemical process companies are based in these complexes but small and medium sized fine
chemical companies tend to be concentrated in capital city, Seoul and suburban area of Seoul.
General purpose chemical products like dyes, pigments, paints and surfactant are largely equal to
those of advanced countries in terms of manufacturing technology in Korea. However raw
materials and intermediate products are mainly imported from overseas countries such as USA,
Japan and Europe. Chemical materials for electronics & IT, are especially heavily dependent on
imports, among which are key technologies requiring high technology and enormous research
costs. Korea is interested in developing advanced chemical materials applied to IT, electronics,
automotive, etc, that require high technology and research process.
Latest export opportunities ? Chemicals
Latest export opportunities ? South Korea
Getting into the market
To compete in South Korea UK companies are recommended to have a capable local distributor,
licensee or franchise partner who has an established network in the market and extensive market
knowledge. A long-term perspective and a reliable partnership between supplier and their local
partner is one of the key factors in achieving success.
More about doing business in South Korea
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
in country - or contact your local international trade team.
? Jiyoung Lee, British Embassy Seoul. Tel: +82 (2) 3210 5629 or Email:
Contact your local international trade team
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events ? Chemicals
Korea Chem 2012, 22-25 May 2012
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters