Industry opportunities in South Korea exist for Alberta companies in the areas of nanotechnology, agri-foods, cleantech, ict, life sciences, energy and education.

Advanced Technology - Nanotechnology

South Korea is an international centre of excellence for advanced technology. In particular, nanotechnology has provided a new engine for sustainable growth as well as solutions for numerous global issues such as climate change, energy efficiency, natural resources, and crucial agendas closely related to demography. Consequently, the South Korean government promotes the development of product-oriented nanotechnology as a way to enhance industrial competitiveness.

Through increased support for joint studies and business activities, the South Korean government seeks to further stimulate technology innovations in the industrial, academic and research sectors and facilitate the industrialization of nanotechnology. South Korea is also eager to commercialize the research outcomes accumulated in the public sector in the last decade. The country is also expanding current and potential markets by merging nanotechnology and other nano-products with conventional technologies and products in order to develop new products based on technology convergence.

• Nano Materials & Applications
• Nanotechnology - IT & Biotechnology
• Nanotechnology – Energy & Environment

Please visit for more information about NANO KOREA, which is Korea's leading Nano technology event that has been held annually since 2003.

Agriculture and Agri-foods

South Korea is Alberta’s fifth largest export market for agriculture and agri-foods. Alberta’s top products exported to Korea are pork, crude Oil, beef, wheat, processed potatoes, lentils, dried beans, oils, fats and waxes, barley, other oilseeds, and hay and fodder.

Seoul Food & Hotel Show is the largest agri-food trade show and flagship exhibition in Korea since 2017. On average, 3,000 booths with 1,400 exhibitors from 40 countries attend Seoul Food & Hotel Show to explore potential business opportunities connected with key local business partners.


South Korea is ranked as the seventh-largest producer of CO2 emissions in the world.  The country submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, with the target of substantially reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 37 per cent from Business As Usual (BAU) level by year 2030.  South Korea was among the first countries to embrace green growth as a national development strategy. The country’s clean technology generated from wind and solar power is an important sector in the Korean environmental technology field.


South Korea’s ICT sector is at the centre of an export boom in major ICT goods, including semiconductors, which was driven by increasing demand for ICT products. The demand arose from global economic recovery coupled with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Potential collaboration areas in the ICT sector in Korea include:

  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Cloud Computing
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Big Data
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Next-Generation Mobile Communication Technology
  • Game Industry

Life Science and Healthcare

The Korean biopharmaceutical sector has rapidly grown since the early 1980s, when the South Korean government began to aggressively support its development. Research has been a key focus, with slightly more support for biotechnology than pharmaceuticals.

Medical Devices
Commensurate with South Korea’s economic growth, the Korean medical devices industry has demonstrated steady growth. The industry is concentrated on mid- to low-value products produced and distributed by small firms.

Services (Contract Research, Clinical Trials and Manufacturing)
Although many of the research institutes and firms listed in the biopharmaceutical sector are open to such work, South Korea does not have a large contract research sub-sector,

As life expectancy increases and birth rate decreases, the Korean population is ageing, which is the principal driver behind increased demand for health and medical goods. Despite the decreasing birth rate, there is continued demand for premium foods and baby care products, including items such as organic baby food.


South Korea is the second-largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fifth-largest importer of crude oil in the world. South Korea’s growing economy will fuel demand for more energy resources. South Korea has a large and advanced oil-refining sector despite the lack of domestic energy resources. To improve the nation's energy security, oil and natural gas companies such as Korea National Oil Corporation, Korea Gas Corporation, and private energy companies are aggressively seeking overseas exploration and production opportunities. The opportunities for Canadian companies are to partner with Korean companies on projects such as upstream exploration and midstream/downstream infrastructure development and research.


South Korea was the third-largest source country of international students in Canada in 2017. Studying overseas has been a growing trend in South Korea, and parents are spending a large amount of their income on their children’s education expecting high future returns on their investment. Students prefer to attend exchange programs including internships. There is also growing potential for students to take technically focused training programs and specialized business/technology training programs, which are well received in the South Korean market.

South Korea is a competitive agent-driven market. Education agents play crucial roles in recommending the study destination for students and parents, especially for K-12 education. Finding a well-qualified agent is key to success in student recruiting and marketing. School reputation and costs also play an important role in school selection.