EU and South Korea Initial FTA

October 17, 2009 International Tax CooperationTaxation in EUTaxation in South Korea  No comments

The European Union (EU) and South Korea have initialed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

After a series of negotiations and two legal review meetings in July and September, the FTA between South Korea and the EU came to be initialed on the 15th of October. The FTA document was signed by Catherine Ashton, EU Trade Commissioner, and Kim Jong-hoon, South Korean Trade Minister, in a ceremony in Brussels.

The Free Trade Agreement is heralded as one of the most important agreements of its kind to be signed by the EU. Virtually all tariffs charged on the approximate €65 billion worth of trade between EU and South Korea will be eliminated within seven years of the official signing of the document. Estimates have placed the value of the agreement at €19 billion.

Remarking on the signing of the treaty, Catherine Ashton said “This is the first 21st century free trade agreement for the EU, creating deep economic ties with another developed economy. It will create new market opportunities for European companies in services, manufacturing and agriculture. This agreement is particularly important in the current economic climate, helping to fight the economic downturn and create new jobs.”

The FTA is scheduled to be presented to the EU member states in early 2010. Once it has been signed and agreed upon by the EU Presidency and the Commission, it will be presented to the European Parliament. Final singing of the FTA will occur in the second half of 2010.

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