Korea and EU have a lot in common, must get closer: KEF chair
Amid global economic uncertainties and inflation, Korea and the Europe need to further strengthen their ties, the Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF) chairman said Thursday.
“The concerning situation is dragging on for both Korea and EU, such as the supply chain crisis induced by the conflict in Ukraine and the diffusion of protectionism, and accelerating inflation,” KEF Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik said during a luncheon event attended by the EU delegation on Thursday at Westin Josun Hotel in Jung District, central Seoul. Sohn is also chairman and CEO of CJ CheilJedang.
“Korea and EU, which share common values such as democracy and free trade systems, should come together to deal with the issues the world is currently facing, such as supply chain instability.”
Sohn emphasized that the economic ties between the EU and Korea have grown stronger over the years, as they posted a record trade and investment last year despite the pandemic."
Korea and the EU have a free trade agreement.
In 2021, the trade volume between Korea and the EU was a record $1.3 million, up 26 percent on year. That was a 55.5 percent jump compared to 2010. The Korea-EU FTA came into effect in July 2011.
“Korea and the EU are mutually important partners in trade and investments,” said Sohn.
Sohn added that collaboration between companies from Korea and the EU is expected to grow, especially in future business sectors, such as electric vehicles, batteries and renewable energy, as both are striving to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
The Thursday luncheon was hosted by KEF for the European Parliament’s industry, research and energy committee on their three-day visit to Korea, from Tuesday to Thursday.
The EU delegation, led by Othmar Karas, European Parliament vice president, and Cristian-Silviu Busoi, chair of the industry, research and energy committee, sat with Korea’s entrepreneurs including Samsung Electronics President Rhee In-yong, Lotte Corp. CEO Song Yong-dok and Chairman Sohn. Maria Castillo Fernandez, EU’s ambassador to Korea, also attended the event.
The EU delegation met with Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and Deputy Trade Minister Jeong Dae-jin on Wednesday.
BY SHIN HA-NEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]