EU To Sign FTA with S.Korea This Year: Swedish PM

[2009-07-14 10:59:19]

The European Union (EU) will sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea this year, Swedish Prime Minister Frederik Reinfeldt said on Monday.

"The finalisation of the agreement will follow during the Swedish (EU)presidency," said Reinfeldt at a joint press conferees with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who is on an official visit to Sweden.

Reinfeldt said the EU still need further discussion among its members on the details of the deal. Sweden holds the current rotating EU presidency until the end of the year.

"There might still be some outstanding questions, and we need to follow up on them before we could say that it's absolutely all clear and all ready to sign," he said.

Lee, for his part, said the agreement will benefit both sides and send a strong message against global protectnism.

"The free-trade agreement will bring benifits for us. It will create more oppotunities and growths in export for South Korea and EU at the time of economic recession," he said.

Lee had previously expressed hope that the two sides could sign the agreement during his visit in Sweden.

Under the agreement, South Korea's exports are expected to increase by 11 billion U.S. dollars and gross domestic product (GDP) by 3.08 percent. The EU stands as South Korea's second-largest trading partner after China last year, with two-way trade reaching more than 90 billion dollars.
Source: Xinhua
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