Focus on Swedish, Korean trade
Hakan Borin, a representative for Sweden at the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea, said during a Korea-Sweden round-table discussion held recently, that changes are needed in both countries to foster and hopefully significantly increase international trade between the two nations.
Representatives from both countries - including Sweden’s Minister for Trade Ewa Bjorling and Deputy Minister for FTA Choi Seok-young, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Korea - gathered on Thursday at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, central Seoul, to talk about the opportunities created by the Korea-EU FTA.
The discussion emphasized the need to lower or remove tariff and non-tariff trade barriers, which would boost the participation and confidence of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in both countries, said the officials taking part in the discussion.
“The Korea-EU trade deal is a win-win situation as various barriers will either be lowered or removed,” said Bjorling.
“I wish to see more expanded agreements between the two countries in dealing with non-tariff barriers, marking place of origin and property rights.” Bjorling said innovative SMEs of Sweden should be given more opportunities.
Choi said that many Korean SMEs, too, are facing difficulties in entering the European market.
“Korean SMEs are complaining that it is difficult to understand numerous regulations, contents of the Korea-EU FTA, and the European system. So the government is planning to adopt the FTA ‘doctor’ system,” said Choi.
The new system, according to Choi, will guide SMEs in entering European markets while helping them to have an understanding of the complex systems and regulations through consultation.
Meanwhile, senior adviser Jung Ku-hyun of the Samsung Economic Research Institute said studies show that the level of happiness of Korean citizens is 10 percent lower than the international average and that, with more trade from European countries, Korea should look for ways of importing items to enhance the quality of life of Koreans.
“European goods and the lifestyle of European people can be a good addition to Korea,” Jung said.
By Yim Seung-hye [email@example.com]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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