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First Korea-EU FTA Talks Successful

Posted May. 12, 2007 08:26,   


The first negotiations that began on May 7 on a free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and the European Union ended on May 11.

South Korean chief delegate Kim Han-su and EU chief negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero held a joint press conference at the government complex in Sejongno and said the first negotiations were successful, saying, “Considering it was the first negotiation round, a variety of fields were touched upon."

Through this negotiation, both sides agreed to eliminate all tariffs on industrial products within 10 years from the enforcement of the FTA. The deadlines for the elimination of tariffs will be divided into: immediately after the enforcement of FTA, within 3 years, and within 5 years. But deadlines concerning sensitive products will be decided case by case.

The two sides had differences concerning how to open the service market, as the EU side insisted on a positive method that lists the markets to be opened and the South Korean side insisted on a negative method that lists the markets to be excluded.

The next negotiation round is scheduled for July 16-20 in Brussels, and the two sides decided to hold meetings prior to the second negotiation round on issues that were not dealt with in the first negotiation round, such as services, appellations of origin, and sustainable development in the labor and environmental sectors.