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South Korea | Seoul, 21 September 2017

Malmström in South Korea: "Open trade is key to progress"

At the EU-Korea Business Forum in Seoul, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström spoke today about the importance of open trade.

"In today's world, we see the rising risk of protectionism. These are dangerous trends for any open economy, any open society. Yet many parts of the world still realise that open, rules-based trade holds the key to our prosperity and progress. Many people realise that protectionism offers no protection. I know Korea is one such place, and so is the EU," Malmström said.

The trade agreement between the EU and South Korea entered in to force six years ago, scrapping almost 99 percent of all customs duties. The EU's exports to Korea have since risen 55 percent, and trade in services between the two has risen by almost 50 percent.

During her visit to Seoul Wednesday through Friday, Commissioner Malmström is participating in the ASEM Economic Ministers’ meeting. She is also participating in a side-event to the ASEM meeting about ways forward for the development of a Multilateral Investment Court.

Read her full speech

At the ASEM Economic Ministers' meeting Friday, Commissioner Malmström spoke about the joint commitment of Asia and Europe to work towards a successful WTO Ministerial Conference in December, to resist protectionism and to ensure free and fair trade.

Read her remarks