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Exporters to Benefit from EU-South Korea FTA

by 5m Editor
5 July 2011, at 10:00am

EU - The EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the EU's first trade deal with an Asian country, will apply as of 1 July 2011.

It is unprecedented in terms of the scope and speed of tariff liberalisation and breaks new ground in tackling significant non-tariff barriers across all sectors, including automotive, pharmaceutical and consumer electronics. South Korea and the EU will eliminate 98.7 per cent of duties in trade value within 5 years from the entry into force of the FTA. By the end of the transitional periods, import tariffs will be eliminated on all industrial products, and most agricultural products, with a few exceptions, such as rice.

"This Free Trade Agreement is the most ambitious trade deal ever concluded by the EU and should become a game-changer for our trade relations with Asia", said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. "We will slash import duties so European exporters will save €850 million in duties in the first year alone. This figure should double once all duties will be eliminated."

One study estimates that the deal will more than double the bilateral EU-South Korea trade in the next 20 years compared to a scenario without the FTA; another study projects that EU exports will go up by €19 billion thanks to the FTA.

The FTA will also create new market access in services and investment and will make major advances in areas such as intellectual property, procurement, competition policy and trade and sustainable development.