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Pressure to Remove Korean Tariffs for Pork and Dairy

by 5m Editor
18 February 2011, at 8:22am

IRELAND - Irish food and drink producers stand to make significant gains if the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement leads to the elimination of tariffs on pork, dairy products and whiskey.

Fredrik Erixon, director of the European Center for International Politics and Economy, told MEPs in Strasbourg yesterday that the proposed agreement holds huge opportunities for Irish goods. He singled out pork, dairy products and whiskey as key growth areas, Irish Examiner.com reports.

Mr Erixon spoke in reply to a question from Munster Fine Gael MEP Seán Kelly at a briefing for MEPs ahead of a debate on Free Trade Agreements at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Mr Kelly said: "Fredrik Erixon, a leading world economist, has confirmed that Ireland’s future Korean export potential is in the three key areas of whiskey, pork products and dairy.

"The elimination of tariffs on these products will be worth €360 million to the European economy.

"I want to see Ireland be the first to fill this gap in the market and continue our solid tradition of exporting the finest agri-food products in the world," Mr Kelly said in his speech to the Parliament.

South Korea is now the world’s 12th largest economy. With bilateral trade at €54.6 billion last year, the EU-Korea FTA is one of the biggest ever deals between two economies, rivalled only by Australia’s trade pacts with China and the US.

"While 90 per cent of all FTAs are a waste of time according to Mr Erixon, the remaining 10 per cent, including this particular deal, are extremely profitable.