EFTA Parliamentary Committee on official visit to the Republic of Korea

Published 26-04-2019
The EFTA Parliamentary Committee met with Honourable Hong Ilpyo in the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea
The EFTA Parliamentary Committee (EFTA PC) visited the Republic of Korea from 23 to 26 April 2019. The aim of the delegation visit was to support the efforts of the EFTA States to deepen and broaden trade relations with Korea by upgrading the current free trade agreement between both parties.

The EFTA PC met with officials from both the Korean ministries and the National Assembly. The delegation met with Mr Yeo Han-Koo, Deputy Minister for trade negotiations at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. In the meeting, Mr Smári McCarty, Chair of the EFTA PC, reiterated the EFTA States’ interest in modernising the thirteen-year-old EFTA–Korea Free Trade Agreement. 

“In 2005, EFTA and Korea were the front runners in concluding an agreement which has proven to be very beneficial to our countries both relying very much on trade and open markets. Economic realities have changed, and the time has come to bring our agreement to the next level and to show to the world that Korea and the EFTA States firmly believe in trade as a tool to develop our economies and societies”. 

The Honourable Hong Ilpyo, Chairman of Trade, Industry, Energy, SMEs and Start-ups Committee, along with several Committee members, welcomed the EFTA PC in the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. In this meeting, Mr McCarthy stressed that due to the agreement, the EFTA States and the Republic of Korea’s economies had become much more interconnected. 

“Our countries depend on each other’s technologies and I firmly believe that the full potential has not been reached yet. Modernising our agreement would open new horizons for our companies and strengthen our partnership” said Mr McCarthy. 

The delegation also met with Mr Kim Hee-song, Director-General for trade negotiations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as with Honourable Lee Juyoung, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. 

In the high-tech city of Ulsan, the EFTA delegation was received by Mayor Song Chul-ho who highlighted how beneficial the agreement had been for the success of his city and expressed his wish to strengthen in the future the cooperation with EFTA States notably in renewable energy technologies. EFTA Parliamentarians also visited major companies relevant for the economies of the EFTA States. 

 

 

Find more pictures from the visit here.

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Seminar on the European Economic Area - Brussels 17 September 2019