General information

Country flag

Official designation
Republic of Korea
Capital and Gov. location
Head of State
President Moon Jae-in
Prime Minister
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon
Political system
Presidential Democracy
100.3 km2
51.25 million (census of 2016)
Population density
525.7 Km2 (census of 2016)
Predominant religion
Protestant 19.7%, Buddhist 15.5%, Catholic 7.9%, No religion (shamanism, confucianism) 56.9%
Official language
Korean; Hangul
Won (KRW) (US$1 = 1,208won; floating exchange rate)
GDP at market prices
1,411.25 trillion dollars, in 2016 (World Bank)
GDP per capita
27,600 dollars, in 2016 (World Bank)


Market Sheet

South Korea is a country with a population of 51.25 million people and a GDP per capita of 27,600 USD, according to World Bank data (2016). It is the world's twelfth largest economy in 2016, taking into account the estimated gross domestic product (GDP) in terms of purchasing power parity, ranking in the top ten as exporter and importer globally in 2016. The country has a well-established market economy and highly qualified human resources, with significant economic development in the recent past. South Korea is a country with a strong export-oriented industrial base. The size of the services sector is smaller than in other developed countries, and the agricultural sector has a small share of GDP. In terms of GDP composition by sectors of activity, EIU data for 2015 indicate the following: agricultural sector (2.3%), industry (38.0%) and services (59.7%). It is estimated that 5.7% of the active population worked in the agricultural sector in 2015, 24.2% in industry and 70.2% in services.


Practical guide to market access

Portugal and the Republic of Korea share several Bilateral Agreements, the Convention on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Tax Evasion in respect of Taxes on Income and respective Protocol, in force since December 21, 1997. The Agreement on the Promotion and Mutual Investment Protection and respective Protocol, in force since August 11, 1996 and the Agreement of Economic, Industrial and Technical Cooperation, in force since January 9, 1985.

South Korea's relationship with the EU is essentially governed by two Agreements: the Framework Agreement (which seeks to develop cooperation and dialogue between the Parties on issues of common interest - currently will be replaced by the 2010 Agreement once all the necessary formalities for its entry into force have been completed) and the Free Trade Agreement (which aims, inter alia, to eliminate tariffs and non-tariff barriers between the two economies and one greater access to services and investment markets, intellectual property, public procurement, competition policy and trade). The latter agreement (the first to be concluded between the EU and an Asian country) has been provisionally applied since 1 July 2011 and, as mentioned above, in addition to the elimination of customs duties provides for the dismantling of barriers tariffs, including regulations and standards in industries of European interest, such as cars, pharmaceuticals and consumer electronics. Services sectors such as telecommunications, environmental, legal, financial and maritime services should benefit the most, with South Korea making substantial commitments to liberalize these sectors.

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