Korea-EU FTA is ‘encouraging, but barriers remain’
EUCCK notes regulations discouraging foreign companies from entering Korea
‘There are still many market access issues that remain.’ - Jean Marie Hurtiger, EUCCK head
EU 상의 “한국 비관세 장벽 추가 철폐하라”
|Jean Marie Hurtiger|
In six days, the most ambitious trade pact to ever pass through the National Assembly will take effect. The Korea-European Union free trade agreement, signed in October of last year, will be effective starting July 1.
“This agreement will open up new trade opportunities in goods and services and will bring about an unparalleled series of tariff liberalization and dismantling of technical barriers to trade,” Jean Marie Hurtiger, chairman of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Korea (EUCCK), said in a press conference yesterday at a Seoul hotel.
Under the deal, which was ratified by the Korean parliament in April and its European counterpart in February, Seoul and Brussels will remove or phase out tariffs on 96 percent of EU goods and 99 percent of Korean goods within three years of the pact taking effect. Korea and the EU will abolish tariffs on most industrial goods within five years after the deal is put in place.
But Hurtiger, also CEO and representative director of Renault Samsung Motors, claimed that even with the pact, there are still regulations in place that discourage foreign companies from entering the Korean market.
“I must mention here that, while the FTA will address the tariff barriers that have prevented so far many EU investors from penetrating the Korean market, there are still many market access issues that remain to be tackled,” he said.
Some of those business areas include medical equipment, kitchen utensils and intellectual properties.
Also at the press conference was Maxim Mamin, the EUCCK’s medical devices committee chairman, who said the Korean medical device market was generally considered by EU firms as “difficult” to venture into.
“European manufacturers are required to perform additional testing procedures for approval in Korea, even though products already comply with international standards and certifications,” said Mamin.
That is a dilemma, given that the Korean medical device market is the fourth biggest in Asia and 13th largest in the world.
“In the course of EU-Korea FTA implementation, the medical device industry expects Korean authorities to further improve communication with industry members in regards to listing, pricing and reimbursement based on fair, transparent, objective and nondiscriminatory principles,” he said.
Kay Paeng, the head of the Kitchen Appliance Committee, also shared the sentiment. “Korea categorizes kitchen appliances not as industrial goods but as food products and that results in stricter regulations,” she said.
Lee Kwon, the EUCCK’s Real Estate Committee chairman, also called on the government to enhance transparency and consistency in its real estate.
The Korea-EU FTA is expected to boost bilateral trade between Korea and the EU by as much as 20 percent in the long term, according to the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy.
By Kim Hyung-eun [email@example.com]한글 관련 기사
[중앙일보]EU 상의 “한국 비관세 장벽 추가 철폐하라”
FTA 내달 발효 앞두고 압박
주한유럽연합상공회의소(EUCCK)가 다음 달 1일 한·유럽연합(EU) 자유무역협정(FTA) 발효를 앞두고 한국 정부에 비관세 장벽의 추가 철폐를 요구하고 나섰다. EUCCK는 24일 서울 장충동 신라호텔에서 ‘2011 시장 장벽 백서’를 발표하는 기자회견을 열었다. 백서는 주류, 자동차, 은행, 자본시장, 건설, 화장품, 화학 및 농작물, 환경 및 에너지, 패션 및 럭셔리, 식품 및 음료, 상용차, 제약, 의료기기, 인적자원, 보험, 지적재산권, 물류 및 운송, 해양 및 조선, 부동산, 조세 등 20개 분야별로 시장 장벽을 지적했다.
EUCCK 회장인 장마리 위르티제 르노삼성차 사장은 “한·EU FTA 체결로 EU 기업의 한국 시장 진입을 막는 무역장벽이 해소될 것으로 기대되지만, 여전히 해결돼야 할 시장 진입장벽이 존재한다”고 말했다. 위르티제 회장은 “유럽 제약 회사들은 여전히 매년 해결되지 않는 같은 이슈(보험 급여 등)로 어려움을 겪고 있다”며 “FTA 체결에도 다국적 화장품 회사들의 시장 진입을 방해하는 규제(화장품 1차 포장 한글 표시 의무화 등)가 여전히 존재한다”고 주장했다. 그는 “EU 자동차 업계 역시 규제(승객 좌석의 규격 제한 등)에 직면해 있다”며 “지적재산권 보호를 위한 규제가 있지만 지적재산권 침해가 만연한다”고 덧붙였다.