S. Korea-EU FTA helpful to both sides: EU officials

September 22, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 22 (Yonhap) — The free trade pact between South Korea and the European Union (EU) has benefited both sides since its implementation in 2011, said a European Union envoy to Seoul on Thursday.

“The EU-Korea FTA, the EU’s first FTA with an Asian country, has marked an unprecedented step forward in trade relations between the EU and the Republic of Korea (South Korea),” EU Ambassador Gerhard Sabathil said in an opening speech of a forum to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the FTA, noting that the deal has been a big success for both sides.

After negotiations over more than two years, both sides signed the deal in 2010. The trade deal took effect in July 2011, allowing South Korean firms to tap deeper into the world’s single largest economic bloc.

“It is gratifying to see the benefits for both sides, five years after the agreement became operational,” he said.

Bilateral trade between South Korea and the EU has constantly grown and reached a record level of over 90 billion euros in 2015, the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea said, further forecasting that it would expand by as much as 20 percent in the long term.

Jyrki Tapani Katainen, the European Commission vice-president for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, also said bilateral trade jumped in an unprecedented way.

“We have achieved a lot with an agreement… I am confident we will achieve more,” the former prime minister of Finland said.

According to data by delegation, shipments by local firms to the EU member states jumped 32 percent following the implementation.

South Korea was the EU’s eighth largest source of imports and the ninth largest export market, while the EU was the second largest import supplier and third largest export market for South Korea, the data showed.

Under the deal, Seoul and Brussels agreed to abolish tariffs on most industrial goods within five years of the deal taking effect.



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    September 22, 2016 at 7:05 PM

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  2. Peter Lim

    October 18, 2016 at 3:57 AM

    LOL keep whoring out, South Korea. Keep surprising us all on how far you can take it up the ass.