On Wednesday, 8 June, members of the Foreign Affairs Committee supported the Draft Law on the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Korea, of the other part, to be considered in the first reading. The Committee indicated that the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Korea will increase the competitiveness of Latvian entrepreneurs in this Asian country because it will eliminate the large customs duties.
“This Free Trade Agreement with the Republic of Korea is very important for the EU as a whole and particularly for Latvian entrepreneurs who are doing business in the Republic of Korea,” emphasises Ojārs Kalniņš, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Some of Latvian wood processing companies, as well as other enterprises, have been operating successfully in the Republic of Korea; there are others that would like to do the same because this Asian country has a large market, great purchasing power and potential. Unfortunately, until now this market was protected by various customs barriers. This agreement will remove various customs duties and thus will lower the price and increase the competitiveness of goods imported from Latvia,” stresses Kalniņš.
The Chairman also drew attention to the fact that relations between Latvia and the Republic of Korea recently have become more active. Since the Republic of Korea is currently considering opening a diplomatic mission in the Baltic States, Riga as the centre of this region might be an ideal location. The customer service centre of the Korean electronics company Samsung Electronics has already begun operating in Riga; it will provide service in the Baltic States and the Nordic countries and will eventually employ up to 100 people.
The Free Trade Agreement that was signed on 6 October 2010 in Brussels envisages establishing a free trade area between the EU and the Republic of Korea regarding goods, services and commercial activity that would comply with the regulations of the World Trade Organisation.
The Saeima will consider the Draft Law on the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Korea in two readings.
Saeima Press Service