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UK Welcomes Progress Towards Korea Free Trade Deal


BIS Department for Business Innovation and Skills - Expert Author

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Issued 15 October 2009

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has urged British exporters to be ready to seize opportunities presented by a free trade deal with Korea.

EU Trade Commissioner Baroness Ashton and Minister Kim met in Brussels today (15 October) to initial the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Lord Mandelson said that a successful conclusion to the FTA would mean significant gains for UK companies as a result of a reduction in tariffs and other barriers facing exporters to Korea. Lord Mandelson added he was delighted that negotiations - launched in 2007 whilst he was EU Trade Commissioner – had now been concluded.

Lord Mandelson said:

"Open markets present huge opportunities for UK exporters and are vital for jobs and growth. Virtually all tariff barriers will be swept away creating new access for UK exporters and service providers.

“Based on current trading patterns, the UK economy would be boosted by around £500 million. However, this does not take into account new trade opportunities that would be created to drive this figure even higher.”

Lord Davies, Minister for Trade, Investment and Small Business said:

“Korea is a major importer of those goods and services where the UK has a distinct competitive advantage including automotive components, pharmaceuticals, aircraft engines, electronics goods, financial services. I now look forward to the agreement being formerly signed and ratified next year.”


1. EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement negotiations were launched in 2007, by Lord Mandelson as EU Trade Commissioner.

2. Initialling is a non-legally binding indication that the form and content of the agreement is settled. It indicates that negotiations between the parties have essentially concluded. This precedes the formal signing of the agreement.

3. Following initialling, the Commission will seek assent from the European Parliament, and the Council of Ministers. If this is secured then the agreement would be signed by the parties to the agreement (the European Commission, EU Member States and the Korean government). Following signature the FTA will need to be ratified in the parliaments of all 27 member states and Korea.

4. It is estimated that opening up Korea’s markets would result in the immediate reduction of €1.6bn in tariffs on EU exports and the creation of €19 billion per year in export opportunities for EU industry. The gains to the UK economy are estimated at around £0.5 billion per year.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-10-15 13:58:22 in Economic Articles

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