Posted March. 25, 2009 08:58,
Korea and the European Union reached a tentative free trade agreement yesterday in their eighth round of the talks that began Monday in Seoul.
The two sides also agreed to hold a meeting of their trade ministers on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in London April 2 and officially announce the conclusion of the deal.
In a joint news conference at the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry`s headquarters in central Seoul, trade officials from both sides said they reached agreement on most items including a schedule on tariff elimination.
In bilateral negotiation, the two sides narrowed differences on sticky issues such as the timing of tariff elimination on industrial and agricultural products and the scope of the service market opening.
They agreed to remove tariffs on industrial goods produced in both sides within five years upon enforcement of the accord. Tariffs on frozen bone pork ribs produced in the EU will be eliminated within 10 years after implementation and those on other pork parts will be removed within five to seven years.