Why does South Korea represent a great opportunity for Mexico?

After twelve years of negotiations and hard work, technical officials of Mexico and South Korea agreed on a Roadmap for the Export of Mexican Persian Lime to the Korean market, and according to SAGARPA, the first shipments are expected to arrive to Korea before the end of 2014.

According to information provided to FreshPlaza by SAGARPA, South Korea's lemon imports increased from about 6.3 million dollars in 2009 to almost 26 million in 2014, with the U.S. as the largest supplier (90% market share).

Why does South Korea represent an interesting opportunity for Mexico?
After being devastated by the Second World War and a civil war, the Korean economy in the 70's was comparable to that of some of the poorest African countries. Over the last 40 years, it has grown to become the 12th largest world power.

Lemon imports South Korea (in millions of dollars)

Today, with a population of just over 50 million, South Korea is the fifth largest export market for the U.S.; the country's agricultural imports from all worldwide countries in 2013 totalled 31,000 million dollars.

South Korea's growth has taken place so quickly that changes in consumer habits of those who lived through times of poverty have not been able to keep up. These older adults are still very conservative and many of them are unfamiliar or have never tried many sorts of fruit and vegetables produced in Latin America. However, with the significant improvement in life conditions and the greater openness of the youngest generation to incorporate new products into their diets, it is reasonable to expect a large increase in consumption in the coming years.

According to the Food Export Association of The Midwest USA, South Korea's socio-economic changes have led to the prosperity of products and companies offering good value for money, health benefits, new flavours and convenience.

Moreover, according to SAGARPA, Mexico is also making progress in the negotiations to export table grapes, a market in which it would compete, among others, with Chile, which has a good market position.

In conclusion, the market presents exciting and promising opportunities for Mexican exporters, who will seek to capitalise on South Korea's good geopolitical situation and further strengthen ties with the "Asian economic miracle."

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