July 4, 2011


EU pork exports to South Korea gain from new FTA



The EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the EU's first trade deal with an Asian country, took effect on July 1, 2011, and will eliminate 98.7% of duties in trade value within five years.


According to the EU's press statement, 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.


Once the agreement is up and running, says the EU, exporters will save US$2.3 billion annually from not paying import duties. EU agricultural exporters will save at least US$550 million annually.


"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 US$1.2 billion in duties in the first year alone. This figure should double once all duties will be eliminated."


The EU has a strong agricultural presence in the Korean market with major exports in pork worth US$350 million annually.


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 US$28 billion thanks to the FTA.

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