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Food and drink manufacturers welcome closing of deal in EU-Korea FTA negotiations

Date

15 Oct 2009

Sections

Health & Consumers

(Brussels, 15 October 2009) EU food and drink manufacturers today welcomed the initialling of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union and Korea. The
deal, estimated to be worth up to EUR 19 billion in new trade, will remove the vast majority of
tariffs between the two economies, as well as many non-tariff barriers.

Members of the CIAA (Confederation of the food and drink industries of the EU), now look forward to the timely conclusion of the Agreement, without which it could prove very difficult for European agri-food exporters to compete with their international counterparts on the
Korean market. The deal will also unlock further market access opportunities for Europe’s largest manufacturing industry.

South Korea is one of the fastest growing markets for EU food and drink manufacturers, with EU food and drink exports to this country rising by 35% since 2000 and hopefully, given the potential market openings in Korea as a result of the FTA, they will continue in growth over
the years to come. Duty free access for a wide range of EU food products, high levels of protection for EU Geographical Indications (GIs) and closer bilateral dialogue on sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to trade encompass the benefits EU agri-food industry producers will
reap as a result of the deal.

Speaking following the announcement, CIAA President, Jesús Serafín Pérez said, “The initialling of this agreement represents an important step forward in securing greater market access opportunities for the EU food and drink industry on the Korean market. Given the current economic downturn, with EU food and drink manufacturers (large and small) facing stiff international competition on global markets, the well-timed conclusion of the EU-Korea
FTA will bode well for the future competitiveness of our industry. We now call for a smooth approval process of the proposed Agreement in Council and the European Parliament
without undue delay.

-END

further information please contact:
Lisa McCooey, Director, Communications (CIAA), Tel: +32 2 514 11 11 (office), +32 476 911 300
(mobile), l.mccooey@ciaa.eu

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