In December 2015 New Zealand entered into a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, delivering
benefits to Kiwi businesses and promoting two-way investment. In 2017 New Zealand welcomed
89,168 Korean visitors and 7910 international students. Two-way trade topped 4 billion dollars.
South Korea is an important source of high value tourists to New Zealand, and the number of South Korean visitors to New Zealand is also increasing. Tourism New Zealand classes the Korean market as one of opportunity and is investing in trade
shows as well as in the media.
Natural honey is an important domestic industry for South Korean agriculture and there are a number of market barriers to entering Korea. Korean consumers maintain a strong demand for imported honey for reasons of value, quality and diversity. Local honey is generally retailed as a specialty food at a premium price. Under the New Zealand – Korea Free Trade Agreement New Zealand producers can enjoy increased access to the market, and New Zealand honey businesses have steadily increased their sales in South Korea since 2015. Compared to other countries, New Zealand have focused more on marketing premium quality products in Korea by promoting the nutritional and health benefits of their specialty honies, such as Manuka honey.
South Korean Wine Market
Korea is one of the leading markets in the world for alcoholic beverages in terms of per capita drinking. Drinking is considered an important part of social life and is often encouraged at social and business occasions. Although drinking is decreasing among the elderly population because of health concerns, the market is growing due to younger and female . South Korean wine imports from all countries totalled 189.8 million USD in 2015. Red wine is more popular than white, largely due to its perceived health benefits. Drinking wine is regarded as sophisticated, particularly when paired with western food. Most of South Korea’s imported wine comes from Chile, Australia and the United States; New Zealand exporters hold a small market share. Under the KNZ-FTA tariffs on imported wine have decreased to zero making wine exporting a major opportunity for the New Zealand wine sector.
Koreans traditionally haven’t been major dairy consumers, however this has changed over the past decade. Under the Free Trade Agreement tariffs on all dairy products will be phased out.