News / Press Release

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Hosts Discussion with Korean Ambassador to U.S. Excellency Duk-Soo Han

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a discussion today with his Excellency Duk-Soo Han, Korean Ambassador to the United States and former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea.

Han talked to Chamber members about further strengthening ties between the U.S. and Korea and also gave an update on the status of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  If approved by the U.S. Congress, the FTA will be one of the most important since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“The (FTA) can be regarded as an economic stimulus package,” Ambassador Han said.  “It will create jobs when America needs them the most.”

South Korea is one of Los Angeles’ largest trade partners and in the past year alone, trade between the two regions increased more than 5.5 percent, totaling more than $21 billion.  In 2007, South Korea exported more than $12 billion to L.A.

“South Korea is recognized as an important trade partner in Los Angeles,” said Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.  “In the last year alone, trade between the two regions has increased significantly, and much of it is due to Ambassador Han’s philosophy of deregulation, open markets and strengthening markets.”

The L.A. Customs District retains the first place position in total two-way trade value in the U.S. and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are ranked in the top five largest ports of the world.

The L.A. Area Chamber recognizes that the future of L.A.’s economy is tied to international trade.  The Chamber's Global Initiatives Committee fosters the development and access to foreign markets for local companies and provides global matchmaking services to foreign entities seeking U.S. joint venture partners, distributors and retailers.  More information on the Chamber’s Global Initiatives is available at


The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit