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Free Trade With ASEAN, South Korea and India

  • April 27th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

asean-interior-2-resize.jpgThe European Commission has announced that negotiations have been set up for free trade agreements with ASEAN, India and South Korea.

It has complained in the past about those trading partners locking out European goods and services, and this week (23.4.07) published the results of independent research, showing it could expect additional annual exports worth EU40-billion (A$65.8-billion; dcerates.com, 27.4.07).

In a statement, the EC quoted research from two agencies, CEPII and Copenhagen Economics, showing the ASEAN bloc would see an increase in its exports to the EU of 18.5%, Korea by 36% and India by 18.7%.

In return the EU could expect a boost of exports to ASEAN by 24.2%, to South Korea by 47.8% and to India by 56.8%.

It’s planning to increase business services to ASEAN, and Korea, and send industrial goods and manufactures to India, especially vehicles.

It says the three agreements will add to overall world trade, with minimal trade diversion expected.

They would complement the world trade system well, as much of the activity, like business services, would fall outside of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) area of concern.

The European Commission states that it selected the three partners based on its FTA criteria, including market potential, and the level of existing protection against EU export interests – which it would want to sharply reduce.

The negotiating process has been in initiated by EU member governments formally adopting negotiating mandates, and the EC will act for the entire group in talks expected to begin in the coming months.

ASEAN, the Association of South-east Asian Nations, has ten member states; see reports on the biennial EU-ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting, EUAustralia 18.3.07.

Reference:

EU trade policy: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/index_en.htm

Announcement: “European Commission welcomes adoption of negotiating mandates …” , EC Brussels, 23.4.07, IP/07/540.

Picture: ASEAN-EU meeting March 2007

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