• Sweden's news in English

Sweden seeks EU-South Korea trade deal by 2010

AFP/The Local · 14 Jul 2009, 07:14

Published: 14 Jul 2009 07:14 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"Korea is an important partner for the EU ... I hope that this EU-Korean agreement can be concluded during the Swedish presidency," Reinfeldt said during a joint press conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak in Stockholm.

Reinfeldt, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency until December 31, told reporters that the proposed agreement would "send strong signals against the use of protectionism" throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

President Lee said the FTA "will bring new opportunities to the economies of the EU and (South) Korea."

"It is very critical for us to work towards reviving the global economy so we can come out of this (economic) crisis. One way to do that is to revive global trade," he said.

EU member states have given broad backing to the FTA but are still to fully endorse it, diplomats in Brussels told AFP.

All 27 member states must give the green light before the agreement can enter into force.

"We also have to finalize (the deal) with the other member countries," Reinfeldt said.

In March, the two sides reached a deal on most points but follow-up talks have failed to settle two outstanding issues -- duty drawback and rules of origin.

South Korea wants permission to refund import tariffs for manufacturers which use imported materials to make products for export. Brussels says this would give Korean firms an unfair advantage.

On rules of origin, South Korea wants items made at a Seoul-funded industrial complex in North Korea to be treated as South Korean goods.

Also, since South Korean manufacturers import many parts from China and elsewhere, the two sides are trying to agree what percentage of a finished item must be made in South Korea.

Story continues below…

But when asked if the refund issue had been raised during the talks, Swedish premier Reinfeldt said: "Frankly, we have not discussed details ... The finalization of the agreement in itself will now follow ... These kind of specifics will then be sorted out and discussed at length."

The European bloc was South Korea's second-largest trading partner last year after China, with two-way trade worth more than $90 billion.

Interests in the EU are the biggest foreign investors in South Korea, with outstanding investment reaching $43.40 billion at the end of 2007.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

08:18 July 14, 2009 by sweco1
This free trade agreement between the EU and (South) Korea pushed by Fredik Rienfeldt looks like a big payment for the services of Ban Ki-Moon.
12:13 July 14, 2009 by blog
It looks like Reinfeldt is trying to do the Vulcan salute.

Coincidentally, the guy next to him looks slightly similar to Spock.
Today's headlines
Facebook slammed for cutting Swedish breast cancer video
File photo of the landing page of the Swedish version of Facebook. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant removed a breast cancer awareness video because it deemed the images "offensive," according to the Swedish Cancer Society.

Pastor rapped for depicting rival as Nazi in church play
A different pastor. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The pastor allegedly found it funny.

In Pictures: Look inside this perfect Swedish island home
This modern Gotland home was designed and built by two Swedes. Photo: United Frog Studios/AB

Anna-Lena and Johan designed and built their home with tall beautiful windows, a smart heating system, and a separate section for their greyhounds.

Cannabis worth millions seized at Swedish port
A file photo of a Swedish police cannabis find not related to the story. Photo: Polisen

The 300kg haul was found by in a truck which drove off a ferry in Karlskrona.

Roll over Volvo: there’s a new Swedish car in town
Photo: Björn Olsson

Car developers in Gothenburg have given Volvo a new sibling.

Thaw trip: Swedish PM Löfven heads to Saudi Arabia
Margot Wallström was at the centre of the 2015 diplomatic crisis. She will not join the Prime Minister on his trip to Saudi Arabia. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

There are fences that need mending.

Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
This shot of snow in western Sweden may not be as far away as you think. Photo: Johan Eklund/TT

...and it's still only October.

Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
The new rules are unfair, say Swedish IB pupils. Photo: Berit Roald/NTB scanpix/TT

A new system for converting the grades of International Baccalaureate students in Sweden will make it almost impossible for them to get into top Swedish universities, it has been claimed.

Education doesn’t always pay in Sweden: study
Nurses are paid less than a lot of non-college graduates. Photo: Bertil Ericsson/TT

Half of Swedish graduates would earn more in their lifetime if they instead started work straight after high school, a new study shows.

What's On in Sweden
Five ways to discover something new in Sweden this weekend
Frank Zappa's symphonic works will be performed in Malmö this weekend. Photo: Anonymous/AP

From a performance of Frank Zappa's unheralded orchestral work to an intriguing combination of circus and opera, Sweden has some unique events this weekend.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Blog updates

8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »


6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
People-watching: October 5th
Must-watch: Incredible time-lapse video of Northern Lights in Sweden
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
jobs available