1 July 2019 marks the eighth anniversary of the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement. The agreement phases out tariffs on industrial and agricultural goods. The European Commission publishes information on the committees set up under the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement. This is part of their commitment to a more transparent and inclusive trade and investment policy. In 2016, five years after the provisional entry into force of the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, the European Commission announced that EU exports to South Korea increased by 55%. European businesses saved €2.8 billion in tariffs eliminated or reduced; and bilateral trade in goods between the EU and South Korea has grown every year, reaching a record high of more than €90 billion in 2015.  The Agreement contains provisions on trade policy remedies with reference to relevant WTO rules and provides for additional disciplines for these measures, including notifications and enhanced consultations. For EFTA-Korea trade statistics, see the EFTA Trade Statistics Tool, which started in May 2007 and is expected to be completed in March 2009; However, several issues had to be resolved before the agreement could be concluded.  Seven rounds of negotiations on different aspects of the agreements were completed, during which issues were addressed with regard to several issues such as rules of origin, motor trade and the authorisation of certain tariff reductions.  An investment agreement (investment agreement) was concluded separately between Korea, on the one hand, and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, on the other.
This agreement covers both market access and investment protection. The three EFTA States and Korea accord each other national treatment for the establishment of investors, with the exception of certain cases where the parties have entered reservations on the basis of restrictions imposed by their national legislation. The agreement also provides for the possibility of direct settlement of disputes between an investor and the party to his investment. The agreement has created new opportunities for access to the services and investment market and contains provisions in areas such as competition policy, public procurement, intellectual property rights, regulatory transparency and sustainable development. The EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement had been provisionally in force since July 2011, before its formal ratification in December 2015. Find out more about the practical application of the agreement. Italian and French carmakers believe the deal would hurt them badly by allowing South Korean carmakers to compete with them in the EU. Adolfo Urso, an Italian foreign minister, said the Italian government could veto the deal, based on the concerns of European automakers, which it had initially done in September 2010. .