The Korea European Union Free Trade Agreement (Korea-EU FTA) is a comprehensive trade agreement between South Korea and the European Union (EU). The agreement was signed on October 6, 2010 and went into effect on July 1, 2011. The Korea-EU FTA is one of the largest free trade agreements in the world, covering a population of 500 million people and a total GDP of approximately $17 trillion.
The Korea-EU FTA provides for the elimination of tariffs on nearly all goods traded between the two parties, with the exception of a limited number of sensitive agricultural products. The agreement also includes provisions for the protection of intellectual property, the opening up of government procurement markets, and the liberalization of services trade, among other areas.
The Korea-EU FTA has been hailed as a significant achievement for both South Korea and the European Union. For South Korea, the agreement represents an opportunity to increase exports to the EU, which is already its second-largest trading partner after China. For the EU, the agreement provides increased access to the Korean market, which is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world.
The Korea-EU FTA has already had a positive impact on trade between the two parties. In the years following the agreement`s implementation, bilateral trade between South Korea and the EU increased significantly. In 2019, total trade between the two parties reached over €100 billion.
In addition to the economic benefits, the Korea-EU FTA has also had important geopolitical implications. The agreement has strengthened the ties between South Korea and the EU, which share common values such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The agreement has also served as a counterpoint to the economic influence of China in the region.
In conclusion, the Korea European Union Free Trade Agreement is a significant achievement for both South Korea and the European Union. The agreement has provided a major boost to trade between the two parties and has strengthened their ties in the areas of politics, economics, and culture. With the agreement in place, both South Korea and the EU are well-positioned to further expand their economic and political cooperation in the years to come.