Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More Insights into the Korean Auto Sector and Global Free Trade Talks

To give some perspective on global SK FTA talks and the auto sector...

In EU talks, I see South Korea more concerned with the EU than with the US regarding the auto sector since MOST of the cars imported to Korea are Audi, BMW, MB, VW, etc.... (Lexus and Honda are popular, too.)

Few affluent Koreans want American made cars currently imported to Korea...wealthy Koreans buy European cars since they are icons of status....younger wealthy and single Koreans feel the imports help attract women, too.

BRUSSELS, July 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the
European Union are struggling to narrow differences on
tariffs and safety regulations on automobile trade as
they try to forge an ambitious free trade agreement, a
top South Korean negotiator said Tuesday.

"Now, we're going through the EU's proposed tariff
reductions on cars, but we need more time to decide
our stance," Deputy Trade Minister Kim Han-soo said on
the second day of the two sides' second round of free
trade negotiations since May. "The EU considers the
automobile sector as one of the most important

South Korea is being asked to quickly open its auto
and auto parts markets, which the 27-nation EU
believes have kept out European cars. However, the
South Korean government has maintained a conservative
stance on the automobile sector because it could
potentially result in bigger losses for its auto

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