Free trade agreement between the European Union and South Korea is expected to be signed at the EU-South Korea summit in Brussels in October. The finalisation of the agreement requires the approval of the European Parliament, and ratification by the EU member states. The agreement is expected to come into effect by July 1st 2011.
The EU-South Korea free trade agreement is the most important and comprehensive third party free trade agreement negotiated by the EU to date. In practice, the agreement will remove customs duties on goods trade between the EU and South Korea, partly after the transitional periods, as well as unleashing investments and service trade.
According to the Finnish Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen the free trade agreement will bring major benefits to Finnish business.
– The agreement will bring major benefits directly to Finnish business by eliminating barriers to trade and creating new opportunities for operations in South Korea. Also consumers will enjoy direct benefits from the agreement through lower prices. Moreover, the benefits of the agreement will be seen, for instance, in services and investments, explains Minister Väyrynen.
South Korea is Finland’s third largest trading partner in Asia. In 2009, Finnish exports totalled about 495 million euro and imports about 478 million euro.
Also the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK supports prompt execution of the free trade agreement between the EU and South Korea.