Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) brings about great opportunities for European companies to enter this challenging, but highly attractive market. The FTA went into effect on July 1, 2011 with the goal of eliminating 98% of import duties and other trade barriers in goods, products and services over the first five years of the agreement. One of the leaders in the IT sector in implementing the Free Trade Agreement is a Slovak company Gratex International. Gratex exports to South Korea sophisticated custom solutions with high added value through a successful partnership with one of the biggest Korean IT companies, Samsung SDS.

“Where trade barriers have already been removed or reduced, EU exports to South Korea are significantly up,” said Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade, at a workshop on the “FTA – One year after its entry into force”, organized by the European Parliament in Brussels. According to the Commissioner, already in the first year of the FTA, the export of European companies to South Korea has increased by 54%. Representatives of the company Gratex International attended the workshop in Brussels with the participation of the Korean Minister for Trade Mr. Bark Taeho. „We were mainly interested in the practical issues that might help Slovak companies to develop business in the Korean market,” stated Martin Benko, director of Worldwide Business Development in Gratex International.

According to the representatives of the European Commission, in the first year of the validity of the Free Trade Agreement, the National Governments in EU didn´t pay sufficient attention to the possibilities the European companies might have due to the agreement. “There’s still big room to present the possibilities that the agreement offers to the Slovak exporters, in particular, given the fact that the Korean companies are already very active and strongly present on the Slovak market,” Martin Benko from Gratex International said.

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