This is the third trade agreement signed between South Korea and the European Union. The first, the Customs Cooperation and Mutual Assistance Agreement, was signed on 13 May 1997. This agreement allows the competition policy to be distributed between the two parties. The second agreement, the Framework Agreement on Trade and Cooperation, came into force on 1 April 2001. The framework aims to strengthen cooperation in various industrial sectors, including transport, energy, science and technology, industry, environment and culture. On 21 April 2018, the EU and Mexico reached an agreement in principle on the trade part of a modernised global agreement between the EU and Mexico (updated to the 2000 agreement). The EU also wants maximum transparency in the negotiation of trade agreements. The European Commission publishes negotiating proposals and details on meetings with interested parties, including business groups, trade union representatives and citizens, where they can learn more about agreements that may be of concern to them. In principle, the UK could negotiate agreements with third countries very similar to those between them and the EU. In some cases, the third country may not be willing to grant the UK the same concessions it has granted to the EU because of its less bargaining power than the EU as a whole. Japan is Ireland`s fourth largest trading partner outside the EU, with more than 500 Irish exporting companies. Trade between the two countries accounts for more than 7,600 jobs and Ireland`s trade surplus is EUR 1.9 billion. In October 2018, the EU and Singapore signed a free trade agreement and an Investment Protection Agreement (PPI).
The EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement is the first free trade agreement between the EU and a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The free trade agreement is expected to be implemented in 2019. Regional trade agreements (ATRs) now cover more than half of international trade and operate alongside global multilateral agreements under the World Trade Organization (WTO). In recent years, many countries have actively sought to conclude new bilateral and regional trade agreements, often more modern and progressive, aimed at boosting trade and economic growth. The current release of the RTA partly reflects the need for deeper integration than has been achieved through previous multilateral agreements. On 8 December 2017, the EU and Japan concluded the EPA. On 18 April 2018, the Commission presented the text of the agreement to the Council. This milestone marked the beginning of the ratification process at EU level and was the first step towards signing and concluding the agreement. The EU and Japan signed both agreements at a summit in Brussels on 11 July 2018 and came into force on 1 February 2019. In general, the Committee examined the parts of the text of the Presidency`s fifth compromise proposal on the draft mandate for the modernisation of the customs union between the EU and Turkey.
Some Member States have once again highlighted the political aspects of the negotiations. Many Member States (including Ireland) have also proposed strengthening the text on technical barriers to trade (TT). All our research and business analysis can be read free of charge online on the OECD iLibrary. Ireland has a crushing trade balance with Singapore, with 30 million euros in exports in 2017, compared to 3.8m euros for imports from Singapore.