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According to Yonhap News,
(SEOUL=Yonhap News) Following the implementation of a free trade agreement (FTA), trade between Korea and members of the Europe Free Trade Association (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) is rapidly increasing.
From June 5 to 6, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy held the 6th Korea - EFTA FTA joint committee and 7th Customs sub-committee in Geneva to discuss the results of the Korea - EFTA FTA and possible solutions to the technical barriers to trade (TBT).
The FTA went into effect in March, 2006, and both parties acknowledge there has been a significant increase in trade and investments as well as vast improvements in the bilateral economic cooperation between Korea and the EFTA.
Last year, trade between the two parties totaled USD 9.28 billion, about 220% (annual average of 10.2%) higher than in 2005, just before the FTA went into effect.
This far exceeds the increase in trade volume between Korea and the rest of the world, 93%, for the same period.
Korea's investments in the EFTA increased from an accumulated USD 95 million in 2005 to USD 2.572 billion in 2017. The EFTA's investments in Korea increased from USD 2.434 billion in 2005 to USD 3.334 billion in 2017.
At the joint committee, Korea agreed to sign a good manufacturing practice (GMP) agreement for pharmaceuticals with Switzerland.
The Ministry expects the GMP will make it easier for Korean pharmaceutical companies to enter Swiss markets as the agreement will eliminate additional due diligence procedures for manufacturers.
Seoul will host the next joint committee in 2020.
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** This article was translated from Korean.
Source: Yonhap News (June 06, 2018)