Trade benefits



Since it has been provisionally applied (from July 2011 onwards), the EU-Korea FTA has had a virtuous effect on the bilateral trade for both the European and South Korean economies. In 2016, five years after the progressive implementation of the FTA, the bilateral trade reached significant levels, compared to the pre-agreement data. A quick overview on the available data on the European Commission website (DG Trade), up to April 2016, shows that between 2013 and 2015 both the exports in goods of the EU to South Korea and the South Korea's exports in goods to the EU have experienced a steady annual increase from 3 to 4 billion euros, reaching, in 2015, 47.9 billion euros for the EU's exports and 42.3 billion euros for the South Korea's exports. The respective exports in services have also experienced a slight increase, which shows an untapped potential for the economic actors.

These trends have proven the win-win effect deriving from the implementation of the agreement and are undoubtfully due to the liberalization of goods and services and the lifting of essential non-tariff barriers to trade, that had been creating а dissuasive effect until the start of the agreement's implementation. As a matter of fact, the import of products that have been fully or partially liberalized by the EU-Korea FTA grew by 21% and 26% respectively. You can read more about this topic in the newsletter of the Employer's Group of the European Economic and Social Committee from July 2016 ("5 years of EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement", page 5, author: Georgi Stoev). The article is available here.