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HUFS takes first step with EU free trade agreement

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies organized a gathering with ambassadors from European Union nations to foster mutual awareness and discuss ways to promote exchange and cooperation.

Last year, the European Union, HUFS and Hyundai Research Institute established the EU Centre to contribute to the growing ties between Korea and the bloc of 27-member states.
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies holds a conference with ambassadors from European Union nations to discuss ways to promote exchange and cooperation at a hotel in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap News)
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies holds a conference with ambassadors from European Union nations to discuss ways to promote exchange and cooperation at a hotel in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap News)

Yesterday’s conference set a platform to share views and aspirations for green growth, economic cooperation and cultural exchanges that would be pursued based on the approved Korea-EU free trade agreement.

“What we discuss at the conference is of great value to us in thinking about university education as a great asset for our future leaders, who will in turn be implementing partnerships between Korea and the EU,” said HUFS president Park Chul.

In terms of GDP purchasing power parity, the EU and Korea recorded $14.9 trillion and $1.46 trillion, respectively.

Kim Joo-hyun, president and CEO of Hyundai Research Institute explained: “The EU-Korea FTA could bring benefits to both sides as much as the NAFTA did with the United States, Canada and Mexico.”

The Korea-EU FTA has been heralded as the most complete deal of its kind encompassing not only trade but services and future areas of cooperation.

Beyond the economic sphere, the FTA has another implication.

“The EU is the birth place of democracy and the industrial revolution. Korea represents all the promising economies and is regarded as spearheading the future,” said Kim.

Looking towards the future, everyone in attendance was in accordance that Korea and the EU member states have ambitious national plans for the transition to greener and more energy efficient economies with a greater share of renewable and clean energy.

A concrete result of this initiative resulted in the alliance established by President Lee Myung-bak’s recent visit to Denmark, France and Germany.

Kim said that “this conference is the firm first step to make the EU-Korea FTA realized as promised.”

By Yoav Cerralbo (yoav@heraldcorp.com)
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