Korea has turned into Spain’s third client in Asia.
The Diplomat. Madrid
The enforcement of free trade between the European Union and South Korea has had a revitalizing effect on the Spanish exports, which increased by 83.6% in 2014, up to almost 2,000 million euros.
Korea has turned into Spain’s third client in Asia. As a result, Spain, for the first time in more than 20 years, achieved a surplus in its trade relations with that country last year.
These numbers surfaced during this week’s visit to Madrid of the First Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Cho Tae-Yong, who met his Spanish counterpart, Ignacio Ybáñez, on the occasion of the 10th Meeting of Top Level Political Negotiations between Spain and Korea.
This type of bilateral meetings has been celebrated since 2007. On this occasion, they tackled “the good operation of the political relations, the positive evolution of the association between the European Union and Korea, and the political and strategic current affairs in Asia, Europe and other regions in which both countries have shared interests”, according to information provided by the OID in a statement.
South Korean tourism to Spain increased by 101% in the first four months of 2015
Other remarkable data are those of the South Korean tourism to Spain thanks to the establishment of a direct air connection Madrid-Seoul and to the growing popularity of Spain in Korea as a cultural, sports and nature destination. In 2014, Spain received 167,049 Korean tourists, 51% more than in 2013, and the forecast for 2015 is even better: in the first four months of 2015, 127,142 Korean tourists travelled to Spain, which means an increase of 101.9 % compared to the same period of 2014.
Both vice-ministers congratulated each other on the positive evolution of the cultural relations and of those maintained between the civil societies through initiatives such as the Platform Spain-Korea, organized every year by Casa Asia and Korea Foundation, which will be celebrated again in Spain in autumn.
In the multilateral sphere, Ignacio Ybáñez and Cho Tae–Yong dealt with the operation and the reform of the UN system, including its Security Council, of which both “valued the high degree of collaboration and coincidence between the respective positions”. The Spanish part reiterated its commitment to the non-proliferation and the disarmament, as well as its rejection of the nuclear and ballistic programmes of North Korea and its concern for the situation of the human rights in that country.