Italy and Korea are excellent partners on the global scene, sharing common values such as democracy, rule of law, economic freedom. In the current global scenario, characterized by the global economic consequences of the Russian aggression to Ukraine and the disruption of consolidated global supply and value chains, Italy and Korea are working together, in coordination with like-minded partners, in order to ensure fair rule-based conditions for international trade, investments, and in order to secure safe and reliable supply chains.
Against this background, in 2022 Italy and Korea managed to further strengthen their economic relations. Italian export to Korea recorded a 17.5% growth compared to the previous year, for a total value of 7.9 billion euros. Korean exports to Italy were also positive, growing by 24.8% compared to 2021, for a total value of around 5 billion euros. The total trade is equal to about 13 billion Euros. In particular, Italy represents the 16th exporting country to Korea (+4 positions compared to 2021). In Europe, Italy is preceded only by Germany (8th), while it precedes the Netherlands (17th), France (20th) and the United Kingdom (23rd). Italian exports are mainly driven by the sectors of fashion and textile products (37%), machinery (12.4%), food and beverage products (7.4%).
Korea therefore represents the first Asian market for per capita value of Italian exports, ahead of China, Japan, India and Singapore. Korea also represents the third largest market in Asia in absolute value only after the PRC and Japan, as well as fifth largest non-European market. Korean market is gradually reaching the value of the Japanese market (the absolute value of Italian exports to Korea is equal to almost 90% of those to Japan), despite the Japanese population being 2.5 times that of Korea.
In 2022,the Embassy of Italy in Korea and ITCCK, together with the Italian Trade Agency in Seoul,made joint efforts in order to organize large economic and trade initiatives, aiming at offeringfurther occasions to strengthen business relations between Italy and Korea in many different sectors.
For instance, thanks to ITCCK efforts, since its establishment in 2016, the World Week of Italian Cuisine has evolved into a highly anticipated event in Korea, dedicated to the promotion of the rich Italian food and wine tradition. Last year, theGala Dinner was a resounding success.The eleventh edition of the Italian Food Festival further served to promote Italian culinary tradition.
Finally, I am confident that the ITCCK planned initiatives for 2023 will surpass previous achievements, capturing the attention of an even larger audience. By leveraging the experiences and insights gained from past collaborations, I trust that ITCCK aims to deliver an even enhanced and more diverse range of engaging events, establishing itself as the true bridge between the Italian and the Korean business communities.
I wish the best of success to ITCCK and its members!