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Home >International Network >South Korea


The Republic of Korea is located in East Asia, in the southern portion of the Korean peninsula. The country is bordered by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) to the north, the East Sea (Sea of Japan) to the east, the East China Sea to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the west; to the southeast it is separated from the Japanese island of Tsushima by the Korea Strait. It has an area of 99,618 sqkm, and a total population of 54.4 million.

With a GDP close to $1 417 billion in 2016, South Korea is the world’s 12th economic power.

The major imports are machinery, mineral fuels, manufactured goods, and such crude materials as textile fibers and metal ores and scrap. Principal exports include machinery, electronics, textiles, transportation equipment (notably, automobiles), and clothing and footwear.

South Korea’s main trading partners are the United States, Japan, and Middle Eastern, East Asian, and Southeast Asian countries. France remains one of South Korea’s major European partner. South Korea became France’s fourth-largest customer in Asia and constituted its seventh-largest global trade surplus in 2017. France was the fourth-largest European investor in South Korea in 2016.

Aircraft industry is a driver of French exports (34%), followed by chemicals, metals, fashion and leather goods, electronics, agrifood products and car exports. France is a leader in the luxury goods industry, ranking second in the perfume and cosmetics sector and fourth in the pharmaceuticals sector.

France’s presence in South Korea is significant and diversified with nearly 200 company branches in the service, automobile, transport, high-tech, chemicals and petrochemicals, hospitality, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and luxury goods sectors.

Cooperation in the field of innovation offers major prospects given the quality of basic research and the fabric of innovative start-ups in France, as well as Korea’s choice of prioritizing the acceleration of the development of digital technologies (“fourth industrial revolution”) and better supporting SMEs and start-ups.

A Francophonie Promotion Council was created in South Korea when the country became an observer of the International Organization of La Francophonie in November 2016.


In this context, Simon Associés entered into a strategic alliance agreement with LEE & KO.



Lee & Ko’s evolution as the premier law firm in Korea parallels in many ways the solid economic development of the country for more than 30 years following its founding in 1977, and has firmly established its leading position among the largest law firms in Korea.

The firm is specialized in different fields such as Corporate Law, Litigation and Arbitration, Intellectual Property, Labor Law, Aviation, Dispute Resolution, Maritime and Shipping Law, International Arbitration, Antitrust and Competition, Banking and Finances.

LEE & KO is constantly recognized for its excellence occupying top spots in many league tables and recognized in internationally respected legal publications for all of its major practice areas. It was ranked Tier 1 in Real Estate, Antitrust and competition, Banking and finance Local firms and Capital markets by The Legal 500, in 2018.

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