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S. Korea, EU exchange tariff offers ahead of FTA talks
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10:37, July 10, 2007

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South Korea and the European Union (EU) have exchanged proposals on tariffs in preparation for the second round of negotiations for free trade agreement (FTA), South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said Tuesday.

In the proposal, South Korea asked the EU to exempt rice and about 150 agricultural and fisheries goods, out of 1,452 such items, from the agreement, Yonhap quoted an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as saying.

South Korea and the EU held their first round of FTA talks in Seoul in May. They agreed to have the second FTA negotiations from July 16 to 20 in Brussels.

In the first round of FTA talks, the two sides agreed to eliminate tariffs on 95 percent of bilateral trade. South Korea's average tariff is 11.2 percent, far higher than the EU's 4.2 percent.

The EU is South Korea's second-largest trading partner after China. The trade volume between South Korea and the EU totaled 79. 4 billion U.S. dollars in 2006.

Source: Xinhua

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