Yonhap News, Korea, March 12, 2012 —
SEOUL (Yonhap) — South Korea’s exports to the European Union (EU) fell after the implementation of the Seoul-Brussels free trade deal due to the region’s deepening debt crisis, a report showed Monday.
According to the report by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), South Korea’s shipments to the EU in the July-November period fell 8.5 percent on-year to 15.21 billion euros after the free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and the EU went into effect on July 1, 2011.
Over the same five-month period, however, the EU’s imports on the whole rose 7.9 percent on-year, but inbound shipments from South Korea as well as China and Japan posted minus growth.
"The region’s debt crisis dragged heavily on South Korea’ shipments of electronic devices and ships," said the KITA report.
Meanwhile, the KITA report said that South Korea’s exports of tariff-cut products to European countries benefited greatly from the bilateral trade deal.
Shipments of South Korean products on which both sides promised to lower or remove tariffs jumped 14.8 percent on-year in the July-November period of last year.
The figure outpaces other EU trade records, including 8 percent growth in the EU’s overall imports of the tariff-cut products and a 2.6 percent gain in shipments from Japan, the report added.
Shipments of South Korean cars, auto parts, petrochemical products and tires surged more than 20-fold over the cited period as tariffs on such products were immediately eliminated or lowered after the implementation, it said.
The KITA report also showed that the EU’s investment in South Korea reached US$2.98 billion in the second half of last year, compared with $2.05 billion in the first six months. The EU invested a combined $5.03 billion last year, up from $3.2 billion in 2010.
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