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South Korea | Brussels, 6 March 2019

Ex-post evaluation : trade agreement between the EU and the Republic of Korea shown to have increased EU exports by 76%

The European Commission has commissioned an external evaluation which shows that the trade agreement between the EU and Korea has been effective in making trade and investment easier, simpler and less costly. This in turn increased trade in both goods and services between the two sides, contributing to jobs, growth and more consumer choice.

The European Commission published today the “ex-post” evaluation of the EU-Korea trade agreement (full report below). This is the first ever evaluation specifically looking at the effects of a comprehensive, “new generation” trade agreement after its implementation.

It is a comprehensive evaluation that covers all areas of the agreement and the lessons learnt will be useful for other similar deals under negotiation or in force.

Based on the evaluation report and its analysis, the Commission concluded that the EU-Korea trade agreement has been effective in achieving its objectives, such as:

  • Removing tariffs and other limitations on trade in goods and services and investment between the EU and Korea, resulting in a significant increase in trade on both sides.
  • The protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (in particular geographical indications).
  • Reducing non-tariff trade costs.

In numbers

  • EU exports of goods to Korea increased by 76% to €49.2 billion between 2010 and 2018.
  • Korean exports also increased during this period, from €39.5 billion in 2010 to €51 billion in 2018.
  • With a faster growth on the EU side, the EU's trade in goods deficit of €11.6 billion in 2010 has turned into broadly balanced trade in 2018.
  • EU exports of services to Korea increased by 79%, compared to 38% for EU imports from Korea from 2010 to 2016. The EU had a €6 billion trade surplus in 2016.


Full report

Staff Working Document
- Summary (FR) (DE)

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