EFTA and Korea hold sixth Joint Committee meeting under Free Trade Agreement

Published 06-06-2018
Mr Jeongil Kim, Director General for FTA Policy, Ms Jihye Lee, Director, International Cooperation Office, Mr Christophe Perritaz, Head of Non-Tariff Measures Division, SECO, Ambassador Markus Schlagenhof, Head of World Trade Division, SECO.
Delegations from the EFTA States and the Republic of Korea convened in Geneva on 6 June 2018 for their sixth Joint Committee meeting under the EFTA – Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), nearly 12 years after its entry into force in 2006.

Ambassador Markus Schlagenhof from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs acted as the EFTA Spokesperson, while the Korean delegation was led by Mr Jeong-il Kim, Director General at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The previous day, the Subcommittee on Customs and Origin Matters exchanged views on the latest developments and possible updates in a number of areas pertaining to rules of origin and other customs matters. 

In the Joint Committee, delegations discussed the status of bilateral trade between the two sides and noted the significant increase in trade between the EFTA States and Korea since the entry into force of the FTA. The Joint Committee also reviewed and discussed possible further developments in issues related to rules of origin; market access for industrial, agricultural and fisheries products; technical barriers to trade; trade remedies; government procurement; trade and sustainable development and procedures for the adoption and approval of Joint Committee decisions.

In the context of the Joint Committee meeting, Switzerland and Korea initialled an Agreement on Mutual Reliance on Inspection Results of Good Manufacturing Practice for Medicinal Products.

Total merchandise trade between the EFTA States and Korea stood at USD 10.8 billion in 2017. The EFTA States exported goods valued at USD 4.3 billion and imported goods worth USD 6.5 billion. Among EFTA’s leading exports to Korea were mechanical machinery, watches, pharmaceutical products, precious metals, various instruments and seafood. The main import items from Korea were steel structures for oil and gas rigs, floating and submersible rigs, vehicles, ships and electrical and mechanical machinery.

Read more on the EFTA-Korea Free Trade Agreement and trade statistics between EFTA and Korea.

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Seminar on the European Economic Area - Brussels 13 September 2018