According to the Studies and Initiatives Center of the Bahrain Chamber for Commerce and Industry (BCCI), the following report on “Trade in Focus” provides an overview of the trade relations between Bahrain and South Korea. Key trade indicators and potential sectors are highlighted in the report.
In 2021, Bahrain’s exports to South Korea exceeded imports for the first time in five years, and saw a 141% increase over 2020. The volume of trade has increased by 135% from 2017 to 2021, showing continuous growth. According to the report, private cars constituted 11% of Bahrain’s imports in 2021, valued at $25 million.
As compared to the previous year, the import value of this product increased by 230%. According to the data, the second most popular imported product was other conductors over 100 V and under 11 mm wide. This accounted for 11% of total imports and grew by 10693% from 2020 to 2024. Another major import was pitch coke, which accounted for 8% of total imports and grew by 77%. The report stated that Bahrain exported unwrought aluminum alloys worth $177 million to South Korea in 2021, making it its top export.
In 2021, this product accounted for 43% of total exports, and grew by 287% compared to 2020. The second major exported product was U/I/H sections, partially-worked, under 80 mm high, contributing for 20% of the country’s annual exports and witnessing an annual growth rate of 122%. While the third major product exported was unwrought aluminum, not alloyed, accounting for 18% of total exports and growing by 562% compared to 2020.
South Korea was one of Bahrain’s most prominent trading partners in 2021; it ranked as Bahrain’s 6th largest exporter and 14th largest importer. The country’s economy is highly developed and technologically advanced, led by sectors such as electronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, textiles, and steel.
In the areas of electronics, ICT, automotive, financial services, and healthcare, Bahrain and South Korea can cooperate. South Korea is also the seventh largest exporter of goods and the ninth largest importer. Bahrain and South Korea have signed four agreements and 12 memorandums of understanding.
The Bahrain-Korea Business Council has sponsored several business forums to foster cooperation and attract joint investment. South Korea and the GCC have resumed free trade negotiations in January 2022. Within six months of the first round of negotiations, an agreement should be reached. Free trade agreements are comprehensive and will contribute to economic growth.