British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called South Korea and the U.K. "natural partners" as he pledged to drive investment and boost trade through a new agreement to be adopted during President Yoon Suk Yeol's state visit.
In a press release announcing the Downing Street Accord on Monday, the Prime Minister's Office said long-term, global partnerships are vital to the two countries' prosperity and security, and they have focused on innovation, harnessing new technologies and defending the international rules-based order as "natural partners."
Downing Street said the Accord, a major long-term agreement that will redefine the relationship between the U.K. and its critical Indo-Pacific partner as they step up cooperation on technology, defense and security, will be signed by their leaders this week.
The office also expected trade and investment to be a key focus of Yoon's visit, with the prime minister set to host major South Korean investors, while the trade ministers of both sides will sign an agreement to launch negotiations for an upgraded and modern free trade agreement(FTA).
Stating that close bilateral ties have generated 21 billion pounds, or around 26 billion U.S. dollars, in investments between the two sides, Sunak said he believes that a bilateral FTA fit for the future will further drive investment, help grow the economy and support high-skilled jobs.