S. Korea-EU Trade in 2017 Forecast to Surpass 100 Bln Euros open the window of AOD

Write : 2018-01-28


South Korea's trade with the European Union(EU) is presumed to have surpassed 100 billion euros last year for the first time.
Eurostat, the EU's official statistical office, released data last Sunday which shows that South Korean exports to the EU reached 46-point-four billion euros and imports came to 45-point-eight billion euros in the first eleven months of 2017.
Accordingly, the trade volume posted 92-point-two billion euros.
Including figures for December, which will come out next month, the overall trade volume for the entire year is likely to have surpassed 100 billion euros for the first time ever.
During the eleven months, both exports and imports to the European bloc rose by double digits year-on-year. But export growth was higher at 21.4 percent compared to a 19 percent growth in imports.
Overall trade volume also grew 19 percent through last November, ensuring South Korea became the EU's 8th largest trade partner for the period.
Another point of interest is whether a trade surplus can be posted for the whole of 2017. By November, Korea recorded a surplus of 700 million euros in its trade with the EU.
Korea has run a deficit streak since 2013, but it had posted wide surpluses up until the South Korea-EU free trade agreement took effect in July 2011.
If the trade account shifts to a surplus for 2017, this will mark a milestone for Korean exports.
The EU FTA went into tentative effect in 2011 and took full effect in late 2015.
According to an EU report last year, the EU's shipments to Korea jumped 59 percent between 2010 and 2016, while imports from Korea rose five percent.
During this period, the EU clearly gained more profit under the FTA. However, the trend reversed last year, with Korea exporting more from the EU than what it was importing.
The two sides' growing trade volume indicates the FTA is generating positive effects. The bilateral trade account becoming more balanced is also an encouraging sign.
But this can also provoke calls for a revision of the trade deal as the EU monitors the effects of its FTAs and requests revisions from partner nations.

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